When I turned 30 (shhh!), I thought I had figured everything out. So much had changed in my life, I was at the top of my game, high on life, and ready to take on the world. That year in so many ways proved to be one of the best of my life. I discovered who I was, what I was about, and what it was I really wanted.
Or so I thought.
I wouldn’t say I have wavered too far from all that I figured out during my 30th year on this earth, but if 30 showed me who I am and what I want, 31 has shown me the limitations that reality places on both. Like everything else in this world, who I am is subject to change, evolution, breakdown, and alteration. What I want is often dependent on the needs and desires of others, the timing, the place, and (dare I say it?) fate, or if you aren’t a believer in such things, coincidence at the very least.
My 31st year has not been one of the best, indeed, but it hasn’t been the worst either, perhaps only because I can see the silver lining hiding behind all the pain, hurt, ache, and confusion that muddled up the last year or so.
If ever there was a life lesson that proves to be nearly impossible to learn but invaluable if you can grasp it, it is the fact that you can never, will never know the future. You don’t know if you will wake up tomorrow. You don’t know if your job will survive the next week. You don’t know if the one who loves you now will love you always. We don’t control life; we can’t foresee circumstances that are as of yet unknown to us. We can’t control what others do, think, and feel, and so often it is those people we can’t control who directly affect our own lives and well being. You don’t know who will enter your life tomorrow, next week, next month. You don’t know who you will lose with the next breath you take.
I don’t intend for all of this to be depressing. Indeed, the unforeseen can be a positive thing depending on where you are in life, your perspective, and what it is you are needing to find at any given time. Down on your luck? Cling to the fact that your golden ticket could be awaiting you around the next corner. In the depths of despair today? It is almost certainly guaranteed that happiness will find you once again. You can’t see it now, you can’t feel its impending presence, but it is the nature of life. It is the ying and the yang, the balance of all things that exist. That which comes up must come down, only for it to once again raise its head and find itself on the upswing later down the road.
I guess what I am trying to say, the point of all this if there even is one, is that finally figuring all this out, finally seeing that there are no guarantees in life, only imperfect human attempts at happiness and triumph, has changed my perspective on life in dramatic ways and has very much changed who I am and what it is I want and need in my life to make me happy. I feel the remaining vestiges of childhood naïveté that clung to my heels have finally fallen away and while I don’t want to say I am jaded or bitter, I can say my eyes are now definitely wide open. I don’t blame anyone for this; I don’t hold this lesson against any one individual or his or her ilk; it is simply a lesson I had to learn and I took the rough and rugged road in finding the moral of this particular story.
I think that is enough philosophy and dramatization for one evening.