When I started teaching public school, and was inevitably asked by my students how old I was, without a moments hesitation I responded “42.”
At that time, I was actually 31.
“You don’t look 42!”
“Well thank you!”
Post 25-years-old, I’ve found age to be fairly inconsequential. I think the revelation came one overcast afternoon, while walking on the back road of a small Alaskan town, soaking in a completely new life, with what in reflection was probably my dream job, literally kicking rocks on a dirt road, that my life would likely never look as I imagined it as a bright-eyed, bushy tailed adolescent.
“Life is what happens while you’re making other plans.” I’ve heard someone, way more insightful than me, say.
Nine years later, after that road, I’m living a life that I never would have predicted. I live in a neighborhood I never frequented at any juncture in my life, and I work for a nationally renowned and respected medical facility.
I have no background in medicine or anything remotely medical.
I’ve found an outlet for my creativity, with this blog you’re reading right here, and a brand new podcast, Off The Beaten Podcast. With 3 episodes posted, I’ve already surpassed a majority of the podcasts on iTunes…I suppose I’m elite. I’m also practicing 30 minutes of guitar a day. I don’t even put my guitar away anymore, I just lie it on my couch so it’s the first thing I see when I arrive home.
I’ve found outlets for my learning, as I’m engrossing myself in classes on marketing, and social media. I’m also learning Spanish. 15-30 minutes a day. At this juncture, I can tell you that I own a suitcase, and I need to get a taxi to my hotel.
I’m still training Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, although not as much as I’d like or should.
I’m firmly convinced that I’m on the second half of life. I live far too hard to see ripe old age, and I’m totally ok with that. Anyone who knows me well knows I have absolutely no desire to live forever. We all have an expiration date.
Please let them put me in the ground before I turn sour.
For you faithful readers, you’ll recall the Writer, an awesome young lady that I’d gone on several dates with. Well, some weeks back she sent me the “it’s not you, it’s me text message. After some meditation, I came to the conclusion: “She’s right.”
I’m so far from perfect, but I’m pretty good. I’ve grown a lot. I talk a lot of shit, but I’m ready to find that special someone. I’m willing to invest the time, and to make myself vulnerable to someone willing to get to know me.
Recently, I asked a young lady that I’ve known for some time out to dinner. She said yes. I blushed. I’m excited to see how the date goes. No rush…taking things slow.
She’s nothing like me. She’s quiet, she hates the spotlight. She’s fiercely intelligent though, and whenever I see her smile, I find myself staring. True to my nature, I don’t know if she’s my type, because I don’t have a type, but I truly enjoy her company, so that’s something…we’ll see how that goes.
I don’t “need” a relationship, but…
Like, I was on the Blue Line yesterday. There was a couple on the train, guy and girl. The guy seemed super drowsy, and at one point, he just laid his head down in his girlfriends lap. She sat, watching the city slide by fluidly while rubbing his back. At one point, she looked over at me, and I smiled and nodded. She returned the gesture.
Personally, I know telepathy is real, because she knew exactly what I was saying; “You’re a down ass female, and he’s lucky to have you.”
That’s what I want. Someone I can share my fears, worries, and desires with. Someone who can tell me when my thinking is completely off the reservation. Someone who will rub my back if I fall asleep on the train, and make sure we don’t miss our stop.
And I’ll do all those things for her.
In all honesty, the one of the truest fears of my life at this juncture is romantically, moving through the second half as I did the first; bad dates, pointless sex, OKCUPID….yo, it was fun, but now…not so much.
My only other real fear is my daughters will see me through the lens of their mother’s eyes, and not see me as I really am.
And as I stare down the barrel of a new decade, I’m hopeful. I’m still determined to make moves, I’m still learning, I’m still growing, and I’m still loving. And I have people who love me back, and as the Beatles said, “all you need is love.”
La, la, la, la, la…