I was never very good at coming up with a clear picture of where I would be in 5, 10, or 20 years. I always assumed I would be married, with kids, a decent job.
In the secret parts of my wistful moments, I fancied myself a world-famous writer/rock star. While the possibility of being a a mid-level semi famous writer still exists, I am honest enough with myself that I take forever to properly write out one of my better ideas, and then am complete garbage at self-promoting. As far as being a rock star, if home-recording several songs, and maybe making them available on bandcamp for my friends and family to purchase, then that will happen.
The point of all this, O thou beloved non-existent readers; droogs and only friends, is this: I never pictured my life like this if someone asked me what I would be doing at 43.
Most 43-year-olds I was familiar with when I was a teenager (which seems to be the years an adult feels it necessary to ask where we picture ourselves in 5, 10, and 20 years) seemed... Well, bored. Disgruntled. Unhappy. Resigned. While I might not have had any idea what I would do
, I knew for a fact that these were things I would not be
And I am proud to say, O thou stalwarts, I am not. I don't look 43. Matter of fact, with my new haircut, the abundance of salt-and-pepper is less noticeable and I look younger than I have in several years, while simultaneously looking wiser.
I don't act 43. However, I think I might be reaching a certain level of maturity that tends to go along with being bored, unhappy, and resigned. I can be one without being the others.
And, ultimately, as I draw to a close these pensive things, I come to the conclusion that while I have not "sold out" or even necessarily "bought in", the rules of the game are clearer to me than they have ever been, and I know how to stay true to myself, and still not get a warning from the ref. And the accoutrements, the trappings of a productive 43-year-old life?
They are there as well: I own a house, the sort of thing one might expect me to buy; lots of personality, in need of some cleaning and dressing up. I have a job, the sort of job one might expect me to work; pays the bills, isn't a matter of life or death, challenges my mind.
And while the requisite marriage part seems a difficult path for me to maintain for extended periods of time, I do have my two amazing sons. And being a good father to them is truly the very best work I could ever do on this planet.
And what else do I need, really?