Feb 3, 2009

Everything Will Change

(photo by Beth Gatza)

Where did the time go? The year has gotten underway rather quickly.
I've been told this is something that happens with age; that dramatically fast feeling of weeks, months, and years racing past you. That's right, the one that only seems to get faster and faster.
And while I'm not particularly fond of this feeling, it has roused a storm of adventurism and anxious creativity in me.
It's good.
It's something all of us (who are feeling a little unsure) could use.
It's like a mid-life crisis, without the grey hair and weight bench.
I'm not scared exactly, but I definitely feel a bit desperate.
I am definitely on my toes.

A few things have become certain.

1. I'm teetering toward the end of my youth... But that's ok.

Some people would say, "twenty-five... you're still so young"
This is true. I'm am very young, I feel very young. And paired up beside some of my "adult like" friends, I feel as though I could be their child.
But regardless of how I feel, I've come to realize that 25 is a very pivotal time.
It's kind of like the age of no return; the last years of a true youth.
I am now weighing heavier on the side of my late twenties than my early twenties. And in only 15 more, I'll have reached the big - 40.

I know it seems like I've got a while, but when you consider how quickly 25 years passed by... you start to understand the dire reality of our situation.
There isn't anything wrong with 40, but let's be real, it's nothing as good as any age that is younger.

During harvest, I worked with a fifty year old man named, Junk.
He once said to me, "I'd give anything to be 25 again."
Sure, it's not the most insightful of quotations, but I've held onto it; if for nothing more than the emotionally inherent advice in it. There was a breath of envy in the way he said it. They way anybody says it. It's enough to make you realize you shouldn't waste it.
When I'm fifty, I don't want to be full of regret or wishful thinking, I want to be fulfilled.

It's time to do all the things you've always stopped yourself from doing.
This is not a "Live everyday as if it were your last" kind of statement - that is a very selfish way to live and I don't encourage it.

This is a "Do something" kind of statement.
Take a long good look at yourself, if that's what it takes to motivate you, and do something that's worth a damn.

Most of all,
DON'T believe in fate, that will not get you very far.
believe in futures. It might be all you've got.
While your youth might be slipping away from you, your future isn't.



2. Be ashamed to die until you've won some pride for humanity.

I read this on a wall.
It is the single most important thing I learned in all five years of my college education.
Of all the thousands of dollars spent on tuition, of all the "acclaimed" members of faculty and their endless lectures, of all the text books bought and read late into the night... It all pales in comparison to a single sentence I saw written on a wall, "Be ashamed to die until you've won some pride for humanity."
This is heavy I know, considering that all life is predominately selfish (all conscious life anyways). This will be difficult to achieve, and it could even take a life time to discover.
So if nothing else, for the time being, at least win some pride for yourself.

You can choose to go on as a meandering lifeless organisms with no thought or care about individuality or purpose. No will or volition. No tenacity or enthusiasm (these people are called worker ant's by the way.)
Or you can choose challenging paths with lasting rewards. Put your name out there. Be recognized for your extraordinary use of time on this planet...
Or don't, and on your death bed be sorry you didn't.
I cannot image a life without passion, sadly we encounter some everyday.

As we age, I think we become increasingly aware of out inevitable doom. It's really not too far off.
Take a look down that short and narrow road and ask yourself two questions...
Would anybody take pride in the path I've chose?
And more importantly, do I take pride in the path I've chose?


3. Your "will" can only be measured by your actions.

enough said.

3 comments:

Misc said...

Hey, I'll be 40 in July. 25 was a good year, but there's no way in hell I'd ever be 21 or 23 again. 25 seems to be the age where we (mostly) acquire some sort of wisdom and maturity. I read somewhere that our brains don't reach full maturity until age 25, so that probably explains all the dumbass things I did before then.... :-)

Enjoy your life, Jim.

tif said...

i'm glad you're still writing on this.
and i enjoy the new look.

please let me know when you're next adventure will begin.

Beth Gatza said...

James,

this is Beth Gatza. I actually found this by seeing my pic on your blog. I was flattered. Anyhow, I miss your smiling face. I hope you are doing well!

Love Beth