When I was a kid, I used to get excited for my birthday about 10 days early. Now that I am older, I start dreading it 5-10 days before it happens. I have people tell me all the time that I’m so young – that I shouldn’t complain about my age. They roll their eyes and sarcastically say, “Oh yeah, you’re so old”.
Well, I am old. Older than I was last year, and the year before that. Can I help it that I have an overdeveloped sense of my own mortality? Of course I can’t. Can I help it that I keep a mental list of things I haven’t done yet, and that I worry that I’ll never do them? Maybe…Maybe I shouldn’t care about the things I haven’t done, and celebrate what I have done. Maybe I should look at that list as a “nice to do” and leave it at that.
Travel: I really want to go to Europe and see Paris, Rome, Dublin, Athens, Naples, Edinburgh, Barcelona, London, and more. I want to go to India, I want to go to Japan, I want to go to tropical places, I want to go to Pitcairn, I want to see the Galapagos Islands, I want to go to Austrailia, Iceland, and see pretty much all of South America. This takes money, and time. I have neither.
Children: Every year, more and more people tell me that the older you get, the harder it is to have kids. “Don’t wait TOO long”, they say. I’m not ready. Dwight isn’t ready. “Well you’re NEVER ready – if you wait until you’re ready you’ll never do it!” I have no ticking of the biological clock persuasion. Not just yet, at least. I’m finally at the point where the thought doesn’t freak me out completely. One day at a time, folks.
Education: I’m whittling away at this one. I finish my BA in May, I’ve applied for a MA program. Of course if I get in it will mean diving into about ten grand worth of school loan debt, and it will be hard to do another four or five semesters of full time work and full time school, and I can’t be completely sure that I can keep it up for four or five more semesters. Is it really smart to go into more debt? Is my ultimate goal attainable? Will I be able to get my PhD and still have a job and have kids? Will I be sacrificing my quality of life in order to answer this literary impulse? Is it an impulse or a calling?
Ah well. Self reflection is good for you. It is helpful to ask yourself questions. Keeps your priorities straight and yourself on track. I guess…