You wake up, excited, it’s your birthday dammit, that’s why. You jump out of bed- more like rise slowly since you’re stiff and numb from sleeping badly on your side. But no matter, the day is yours, make the most of it. It doesn’t matter that you creak like a rusty old door as you attempt a cat like stretch. Your cat looks at you with what feels like a smug face, she knows she can do it much better. You give her the evil eye as she stretches out- she indeed can do it better- and saunters ahead of you ready to be fed.
There’s nothing like the highs and lows of getting older. People wish you happy days and many more; friends and family celebrate your continued existence on this earth. But after a certain age, do you find you inevitably get stuck in a loop of self reflection big or small, sober or not, thoughts begin to churn unbidden.
They say things change after 30. You wonder where you are in life and if you don’t, people wonder for you. The media is constantly reminding you of milestones you’re supposed to hit. Where you should be at this stage in life.
Is it just me? Or do you often feel like you loose your bearings in a world loaded with images of overnight sensations, 20 something billionaires mingled with retirement ads. They tell you that you need to retire by 50 while if you are an artist the old adage “freedom 55” is more like freedom when your dead.
And then a cold hits or an injury and suddenly your everyday isn’t as easy to manage, those questions cycle back echoing the voices of friends, strangers and acquaintances and you find yourself asking- what are you doing with your life?
The thought burrows deep, sinking in, the anvil drops to the pit of your stomach, you reach for your smart device, turn on The Walking Dead and pretend that little slip of doubt didn’t enter your mind. But it did, so you have to deal with it don’t you? Because fear doesn’t go away as willingly; it sticks like molasses to you, its claws dig in gripped for the long haul. You have to answer the question because it will haunt you, forever on repeat like clothes stuck forever in a spin cycle.
You have to force yourself to be in the moment that birthdays are celebrations of life, struggles will always exist, your truth is what guides your compass in life. If making art or writing is your lot in life then write on, because no one will do it for you. You are your only champion when the chips fall or your name rises. I try to remind myself that life is about the path, the bumps and the bends that is what makes life – living, interesting.