On Dying…

Death ComesOr as most people call it “growing older” or “aging.”

As many of my friends know, I started school a year early. My birthday falls in late October, which for most grade schools is late, and pushes you into the later year category. But considering I was already reading chapter books at the age of four or five (Roald Dahl primarily, but I was also reading The Hobbit… apparently I was smart, what happened?) they let me start… I was also apparently supposed to skip a grade (fifth or sixth, I can’t remember) but the school decided not to let me because they weren’t sure I’d be “mature enough.” On that second part… I’m actually glad they didn’t let me, because that would have messed with a lot of the good things that have happened in my life (going to Europe when I did, meeting the people in college that I did, taking certain classes that changed my outlook on life permanently when I did… etc.). But now that is all behind me. I have grown old. Older anyway. At this point in my life there is nothing resembling an “age boundary” that I still need to hit, except for maybe “retirement” age… which I probably will never retire anyway, so I doubt I’ll care about that when it comes (and I certainly don’t now).

So what am I talking about? Well – a funny thought occurred to me the other day. A lot of my immediate familys (and friends) birthdays are in this three month period. My mother and father are both in early August (the 5th and the 10th), then Tom’s on the 11th, my good friend Dave’s was the 14th, and my good friend Will’s is the 29th (muahahaha). And that’s just August. Then Brandon’s is in late September, along with a few other friends. Then October… October is the bitch. We kick off October with my uncle Michael Thomas Ford’s birthday, as well as Erica’s. Then Crista’s is on the 4th, followed by my cousin’s on the 5th. Then mine is at the end of the month, followed by Dave’s right at the tail end of the month on the 28th. And there are a bunch of other friend’s in the middle of October as well. If you would note, I called out half of the Blogenning members here, but conveniently left mine absent… some of them know it already. So what exactly does all this mean? Well… I realized that I will be turning 26 this year. And my mother had me when she was 26, making me exactly half her age. Huh.

So this came as a bit of a shock to me, really. I finally hit an age that has some small amount of meaning to me. 16 didn’t really matter, because driving is fun, but it wasn’t a privileged for me… 18 didn’t matter because at the time I didn’t smoke (I didn’t start till I was 21… and recently quit). 21 didn’t matter because I had been drinking since I was 16 (and had learned to respect alcohol and drink responsibly, which is what is lacking in most American youth… but that’s a story for a different topic). But now I have hit an age that actually makes me think – my mother was my age when I was born… huh. And this pulls through all of the other life questions like “is this where I want to be in my life,” and “where do I want to be five years from now,” etc. Additionally, this is something that only happens once in a person’s life…

So am I where I want to be at this stage in my life? Ah… no. Honestly, no. But am I working on that? Yes. Very much so. And you will probably see some changes because of that here in the near future. Big changes. Massive changes. Huge tracts of… wait… no. So I guess that’s not all bad. More like… 50/50. I’m halfway to where I want to be. Which, yes, I should just be there, but shit happens. Now, as far as where I want to be five years from now? Meh. Don’t care. That’s five years from now. If the changes I’m making now are successful, then I’ll worry about that. One step at a time, as many people have said. So where exactly does that leave me in all of this? Behind… but on the path I want to be on. And as I have said, it’s the path that matters, not the destination. Because the destination is the same for all of us, right Heidegger? (Please don’t hit me Brandon, I had to tie this back in to the title.)

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About Ian E. Muller


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