T Minus 40: One Month Out

Honesty remains the most important virtue to me and the most elusive, for honesty is more than just telling the truth. It’s a state of being. It’s a way of life. For a writer, I believe it is of paramount importance. It is what makes the job hard.

Today I woke up pissed off. I don’t even know why. I blamed Yves, of course. Then I thought, I’m out of ideas, I’m tired of trying to figure things out, of trying to assign a deeper meaning to every event in life. I’m sick of the struggle. I don’t want to be 40, no matter how cool they tell me it is. 

As a kid I thought life would steadily build and each phase would have it’s own set of achievements. One after another they would begin to amount to success. Every step would be forward. High school leads to college which leads to career which leads to relationship which leads to marriage which leads to home which leads to happiness. All of the effort I put in would come back to me, immediately. Imagine my disappointment in discovering that that’s not true.

No one ever told me what I was supposed to do when life forced me to take a step backwards. Every time it has happened it felt like the end of the world, but it never was. It seems silly to me now that I ever thought that every decision I made would belong solely to me. Life doesn’t work that way.

Last night I was on the phone with my grandmother, she’s 85. She said, don’t believe that “life begins at 40” crap! I laughed, but when I hung up I was like, what the fuck, Nams? I thought your wisdom was supposed to put me at ease. Lie to me, for God’s sake. 

Today is August 22nd. There is exactly one month left to my 30s and it really feels like an ending. It’s like there’s a door in front of me and it’s closed and it has no window in it and I just can’t bring myself to open it yet and see what’s on the other side. I figured by 40 I’d have shit figured out. I guess that’s just as false a concept as a life that moves only forward, because every time I think I’ve got it down life throws something new at me and I have to start over. I’d love to see the door as an entrance, as a beginning, but I’m having a hard time closing off the past. I’m sure I’ll get there, I have no choice.

Until then I’ll stay the course and do my best to be real about the whole thing. Some days it seems like no big deal, but on days like today I’d rather just hide out. I’m trying to not pre-judge the things I do in a way that will censor me. I’ve held myself back in the past by worrying about what other people think of me, which is not fair to me and not honest to others.

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