So I meant to write this post about a week and a half ago. I didn’t, and who knows why? Is it because I was too busy crying my eyes out? Throwing up? Lying on the floor in the fetal position with a snot bubble on the end of my nose that didn’t know whether to go in or out? Drinking coffee liquor? Taking a tomato juice bath? Probably all of the above.
What would have me in such a foul, non-bloggy mood? Some smart-ass decided to update his status on Facebook to indicate that he was off to University 20 years ago that day. Who cares, right? Except that I too would have been starting my post-secondary education that day as well. 20 years ago. I was 19. Do the math. I’ve been pushing 40 for a while. Only gently. Now, I’m pushing it like a bully in a room full of dorks. I’m OK with that for the time being, but the fact that I went to college 20 years ago is unacceptable for some reason. I’m not saying that it feels like yesterday. It doesn’t. It feels like 12 or 13 years ago. Not 20.
Let’s analyze just how ridiculous it is that going to College was half my life ago. I’m the same guy, right? Not even close. Not for the better either. The main difference is that everything hurts. Physically I mean, not emotionally. For no reason at all. I am in pain a fairly high percentage of the time. Nothing requiring a get well card. Just that nagging kind of pain that I know won’t ‘get well’ ever. By the way, for all of you who are over 40 and in more pain than me…. this isn’t a contest, so don’t fill up my comments section talking about your aches and pains…… That sounded selfish and mean. OK, tell me about your aches and pains.
I’m kind of crusty and frowny these days. I was NEVER like that! Why would I be? All I had was dumb shit to think and worry about. It was awesome! The simplicity of it all. I would go out for a beer with a buddy, and that was the most important thing I did all day. I walked with a spring in my step. Now I think I limp slightly, depending on the day. I can’t overstate that I think some of this has to do with the fact that I’m in pain. It probably makes me crusty and frowny more than anything.
I’m a husband, father and working professional now. I was maybe a boyfriend, possibly a part-time employee, and a crappy disinterested student then. I’m not saying that was better, but it was much much easier.
My neck is like waaay bigger now. Most of me probably falls into that category too, but the difference in neck size is astounding. My face too. My whole head really. I only suspected this before now, but recently I bought a ‘New Era’ baseball hat, you know, like the kids wear (oh and I say that now with a straight face), and they’re fitted, so you have to keep trying them on until they fit. My head is big, and that’s all there is to it. I hope you don’t have to sit behind me at the movies. So it only makes sense that I would have a big goddamn neck for it to sit on. I wish my ego, or earning potential, or generosity of spirit was bigger. It had to be my neck.
I’m sure I was way funnier back then too. I should have started this blog then. I don’t think blogs existed then, but I wish I kept a journal or something. I was funny. I don’t know that I’m any less funny now, but I am way less interested in whether people laugh or not. That used to mean the world to me.
I do miss those days. I sometimes long for my 19-year-old energy and enthusiasm. The good news (if I’m to make this blog entry one that ends on a warm and fuzzy note) is that I had a blast! It’s like that rollercoaster that you went on, and you loved it, but you have to line up 45 minutes to ride it again, so you say screw it. It was an excellent ride. I enjoyed every minute of it. I am enjoying where the journey has taken me, and I don’t have any recurring nightmares about how I should have done things differently. So if I’m to turn 40 in the not too distant future, I won’t do so with any sort of sadness, but rather a ‘holy shit, I can’t believe how amazing this last 40 years were, and how lucky I’ve been.’ The next 40 I’m sure will be even more amazing. They will hurt. Not emotionally, but physically.