I have been going through one of my quiet phases, where I internalize my daily mental and spiritual and mundane experiences, and thus when I sit in front of the screen I can’t find anything to say. I’ve become more comfortable in my older age (27 soon to be twenty-eight) with just letting myself be silent when I am silent, and allowing myself to talk when I am talkative. When I was a teenager, I was so self-conscious that when I didn’t have anything to say I would get stressed out and anxious by silence, feeling like I had to say something. This then had the catch-22 effect of rendering me unable to say anything at all. Ah yes, those were some wonderful times.
It’s kind of a cliche that old folks harken back on their times of youth and sigh, wishing they could transport themselves back to those idyllic times. I’ve heard people in their 30s set on a solid career path reminiscing misty eyed about their drunken drugged out college exploits. I, on the other hand, have been finding, thankfully, that my life and my perceptions and my experience of life only improve with age and time. To be honest, I mainly hated my college years, though I certainly had my moments of glory. High school was alright, once I had forged some meaningful and wonderful friendships, the ties of which still hold true to this day. Middle school was hell, a time when hormones and societal norms wrecked havock on souls and bodies alike. Elementary school was a waste of time, being alternately abused or condescended to by bitter post-middle-aged women.
Now, well past academia, somewhat settled into a job but nowhere near stuck in a career, I feel more confidant, more in love with being alive, more aware of the world in which I live, then I ever did. I spent my young adult life being depressed and hating myself and everything else. I still have a lot of anger against the world, but a little bit of anger, I feel, is justified. I see no reason why the advance of age should pose a slew of regrets, bitterness, and fear. (I talk like I’m an old man, but let’s be honest–this culture makes you start feeling passé by the time you hit 25. American consumer culture is all built around youth, vulnerability, and the inability to think and feel for yourself.) I suppose once I hit 80 that I will then begin to grow frustrated at my limp penis, varicose veins, and general shrinkage of body mass–but until then, it only gets better from here. Here’s to evolving with time.