Gracefully

retrospect

My temples are going gray. Noticeably.

I’m okay with this. I kind of like it, even. I’m old. That’s no secret. Older than my band mates, older than most of the Beggars, older than my girlfriend…

Sure, I have wrinkles; sure, my knees and back aren’t what they used to be…

I turn 40 this year. That means I’m officially more than halfway through living, and trust me, I’ve done a lot of fun and interesting and oft times reckless things in the first half. But I didn’t really get a sense of my life until about three years ago. Before that, it was all trial and error, heavy on the error.

It was bad decisions, hard climbs and a long journey. It was trying to force the future to come early.

I don’t think I could have appreciated the life I’ve built back then, not like I do now.

The post nuclear generation is all about instant gratification and entitlement. They want the world and they want it now, without all that troublesome time and work.

They don’t realize how much more it means when you work hard for years to build something great. That feeling of completion. A truly earned sense of pride and contentment. It’s far more rewarding when you make something for yourself.

They just don’t realize that they aren’t ready for it.

I sure wasn’t when I was their age. I was in just as big of a hurry to find the happy ending and closing credits. That’s why I was married at 25. That’s why I took a crappy office job in the hopes of finding stability regardless of the work.

That’s why my world crumbled at 36.

I wish I’d known back then that it’s okay to take your time. I wish I’d known that it’s okay to feel lost. Hell, I wish I had known that it’s okay to be hopeful.

I wish I’d known that the really good shit doesn’t happen until you’re older, wiser for the times.

I do now.

It took me nearly half my life to get here. To this place. To this person staring back at me in the mirror.

But here I am. These wrinkles, the gray hair…They are merely reminders of how I got here—how far I’ve come…

How much I’ve learned.

And I still have half a life to live.

I plan to live it the way I age.

Not kicking and screaming.

Gracefully.

 

 

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