ruthless compassion (aroraborealis) wrote,
ruthless compassion

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Belated happy my birthday to all of you! I hope the day treated you as well as possible, and that so does the year to come.

I was born in 1976, so now I'm 38: exciting!

Actually, I've kind of stopped caring about the numbers, and, in fact, most of the time, I have to stop and do the math to figure out what year-of-age I'm in.

I was born in 1976. When as much time has passed from now as since then, it will be 2052, which feels like quite a distance into the future. I'll be 76. I wonder what the world will look like then, and if I'll still have many of you wonderful people in my life -- I hope so. By then, a bunch of the kids I know will be over 40, themselves, and probably many of them will have kids of similar ages to their current ones. It's already weird to know adults who I first met as babies; I imagine this will only get stranger.

Sometimes, I feel like whatever I was going to do with my life, I should have started it by now. I started feeling this way around age 30, I think, when I had this sense of, well, ok, you did college and got a job and now aren't you supposed to have your life figured out now? Our society is really good at front-loading pressure on young people figure things out, and especially in terms of a career, it's like, well, I hope you're in the field you always want to be in, because BAM! now you're a grown-up and you don't get to shop around anymore.

But when I look at the actual numbers, that shouldn't have to be true, because, really, I've only been working what I'm going to call "real jobs" (for the purposes of how it applies to my life) for about 20 years, and if I'm lucky, I have at least 30 more years of working ahead of me, and hopefully after that I still have lots of things to do even if I'm not doing them for money. Why shouldn't we all get to do a variety things along the way?

It's hard to go back to being a novice, but it's also so important. I love this Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal's take on this point. I should print it out and laminate it and hang it in my shower.

If I'm lucky, I'll be happy and healthy past 90. I hope I can keep learning and growing and being both a novice and an expert, making mistakes and learning from them, having adventures, having boring times, and all the richness of life.
Tags: introspection, life

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