Today, the 13th of October, marks another successful trip around the sun. Being closer to 40 than 35 is kind of a weird feeling, though not as scary as I thought it would be when I was in my 20’s. I think it would be easy to view this “mid-life” phase with some fear or regret or harmful reflection, but none of that comes naturally to me. Partly there are I few reasons that make it feel like I’m not actually halfway through my life.
I have had many overlapping lives, some of which have ended – though all have ripple effects in my current life. The simple math is to say, “hey, you’ll probably die around 80 and you are at 40, therefor your life is half lived, you are approaching the end, time is running out,” but that isn’t the right way to look at my life/lives for me.
I don’t think it is truly representative of the experiences I have left to include my time as a child. Certainly, the first 18 years of my life have little in common with the last 18 or the next 18. Hell, even my early 20’s aren’t really in my current life. Until I graduated college I was very much under the control of other people, I had very little autonomy, even though I was an adult. On the macro level I really only feel like I have been in my current life for about twelve years, and with another 40 ahead of me I feel rather young. How many awesome things am I going to experience in my 40’s, 50’s, 60’s, and beyond?!?! Every decade so far has been better than the last… hell, every few years have been better than the ones before. They haven’t been universal, across the board better but the overall experience continues to improve.
Beyond using my life after college as a metric, on a micro level I’ve had many lives. I spent ~3 in DC working for liberty-oriented non-profits, then I biked across the US (mostly) solo, I worked and lived in LA and met my partner, we biked around the US for a couple of years, and now I’m a home owner in Wilmington who works in housing policy and is training for my first marathon. In the next 20 years I may live in Omaha and/or Santa Fe and/or Belize. I may spend two weeks in SE Asia or write and publish erotica or start a hard cidery. If I’m overwhelmed about anything it isn’t my eventual death, it is the sheer number of awesome experiences that still may be before me.
So yes, with another turn of the Earth I’m excited. Each year has been a blessing filled with more memories than I can contain. Since last October I:
- Had my five-year anniversary at Burning Man
- Am currently in Alberta visiting my brother, sister-in-law, and nieces
- Was given greater autonomy at work
- Was visited by another brother and his wife
- Went to the LEAF festival
- Went to western Virginia with strangers who became friends
- Spent New Years in Asheville
- Began a number of exciting projects
I’m sure I’ll have a similar report in about 365 days. 😊