Waxing Candles

So it happened. I knew it would, I’m not naïve. I had, however, assumed it might come at 30 +, but nope… 29 is the magic number when you switch from candles that denote your age to the more euphemistic two or three that mark your transition to “old”.

Yesterday I entered the last year of my 20s… I’m not sure if it’s that, visiting home and seeing lives moving along much like they’re expected to, or getting engaged, but I’ve been thinking a lot about the future these days.

A tricky thing, the future. I mean, it doesn’t really exist does it? For all the thinking, planning and worrying we do about it… it’s just our imaginations that create the idea. There never has been nor will there ever be a future. The present is all we have.

But then the problem we run into is that if we use the “live in the present” mantra that those damn hippies made popular we end up 45, renting an apartment on the rough side of town and working midnights as a security guard trying desperately not to think about the fact that we’ve got no pension, no benefits and no cable.

I mean, I’ve always straddled that line. I’m not exactly climbing the corporate ladder, at least not in any traditional sense. Though at the same time I’m always thinking about what I can do now to build for the future… which I’ve already admitted, doesn’t exist – and then I go in circles.

It’s the curse of the new generations I think. We’re not happy punching buttons or crunching numbers, but we want all the things we’re told we need. We live in a world where innovation and “thinking outside the box” is what’s expected to succeed, but is tougher and tougher to find or figure out.

I guess it’s just growing up. You stumble through it, do your best and things seem to sort themselves out. It’s like having kids (another very grown up thing to do). There are people who plan having kids down to the expected costs (with inflation) of their first four years of eating expenses. And there are people who just find themselves with a baby popping out and not much idea on what to do next. By the end of the first five years I think, mostly, it evens out. The first group of parents mellows out and realizes you can’t plan everything, and the second group sorts things out and learns what they need to do.

Life, I think, hope, expect, is much the same way… whether you plan every detail or take it as it comes … it’s going to happen its own way and if you’ve got the right attitude you’ll generally look back on that other fiction – the past – and feel positive about the choices you’ve made. Whether they made things better or more difficult, if you’re happy with the present, it’s hard not to appreciate that those choices brought you to where you are.

I’m 29, and I’m happy. Rock on.

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