This year has been a complete surprise for me. It started off with me thinking I understood the world and my place in it as I had for several years now, and it's ending with me questioning the purpose of my life. I had unexpected peaks of happiness where I felt more alive, and happier, than I had in years, and deep deep depressions that I am still trying to surface from.
Random thoughts connected to these themes:
- My daughter is super adorable right now, she puts on these puppet shows in her room, sets up a row of seating and makes me sit there and watch them along with a rapt audience of her dolls who are all dressed for the occasion, and I love every second of it, but it's also bittersweet to me now because every year that she gets older I feel like I'll be declining a little bit more, I wonder if my parents had the same thoughts while watching me grow?
- I watched Stranger Things season 3 and this speech at the end struck a chord:
But I know you're getting older, growing, changing. And I guess... if i'm being really honest, that's what scares me. I don't want things to change. So I think maybe that's why I came here, to try to maybe... stop that change. To turn back the clock. To make things go back to how they were.
But I know that's naive. It's just... not how life works. It's moving. Always moving whether you like it or not. And yeah, sometimes it's painful. Sometimes it's sad and sometimes it's surprising. Happy.
... and when life hurts you - because it will - remember the hurt. The hurt is good. ...
I'm not sure that I agree with the last sentence. Is the hurt good? Or does it just suck but you just have to deal with it. The speech resonates a lot with me right now though. I want to stop the clock and stop the change, and I've been feeling way too much hurt this year.
- Physical decline has been on my mind a lot. Am I just going to decline from here on out? I'm 34. I'm in near the best physical condition I've been in since my teenage years, and I exercise about 5 days a week, and I eat pretty healthy 90% of the time, but age is age and there's no stopping it. I went to the dentist and found out prior dentist botched a procedure, and now the guy says I'll probably only have one of my molars for a few more years until it needs to be extracted. It may not sound like a big deal, but it feels like a turning point to me. Does this mean that from here on out the name of the game is trying to decline as slowly as possible? But declining nonetheless.
- Is this my peak? By which I mean, have I discovered all I'm going to discover? Is the growth phase of my life over? Is life from here on out just doing the same things I'm already doing, and enjoying it as much as I can, until eventually death comes for me too? It feels like a lot of the mystery is gone from life now. It feels like the newness is gone. I went out and blazed a path through the world and it was fun, and now I know what is out there, the rest of my moments are going to be akin to listening to music I've heard a thousand times before.
- I don't subscribe to a religion, so all I have is irritation and angst about these ideas. I don't want to get old and die, and I don't want the clock to keep ticking but there's nothing I can do about it.
Anyways, just thoughts. I know that there are still lots of things to discover, and clearly I haven't discovered everything, or this year would not have been such a shock to me. But these are the thoughts I've been wrestling with.
A more positive quote I enjoyed recently was:
While our thinking colors all our experience, more often than not our thoughts tend to be less than completely accurate. Usually they are merely uninformed private opinions, reactions and prejudices based on limited knowledge and influenced primarily by our past conditioning. All the same, when not recognized as such and named, our thinking can prevent us from seeing clearly in the present moment.
That quote is 100% accurate I think, I'm reacting based on recent events, I have limited knowledge, and my brain is trying to puzzle it out. Still, even though you can abstractly realize you're not thinking accurately, it doesn't magic those thoughts away.