When you’re in your teens you think you know what you want and struggle to figure out how you’re going to get it. I want to be a singer, but I don’t have the courage to move to a place like Nashville or New York. I want to get a degree, but I don’t know how to pay for it. etc. etc.
When you’re in your twenties you’re pretty sure about your path, but you know you’ve got forever to change your mind. I’ll go to school then start working or I’ll start a family or travel. I’m young, I can do anything.
In your thirties, you realize you’re a grown-up and you probably better get on with it, whether it is a career, children, travel, whatever. OMG, you’re thirty! You’re not getting any younger and your internal clock is ticking.
The forties, it’s official, you’re an adult, you have a career that you may or may not have chosen. You have children who need you, but you have to pay the bills, and they are probably old enough to get by on their own sometimes. But wait, your parents are aging. What the heck? When did that happen?
The fifties is great, you’re no longer the youngster in the office, you know how things work and you’re at the top of your game. You’re making a decent wage after twenty years of working and you have grown kids that will bring you grandchildren. What a lovely gift. Spoil them and send them home. That rocks!
In your sixties, if you are lucky, healthy and have been saving all this time you’ll retire. If not, here’s hoping you can actually find a job you enjoy instead of the day-to-day grind. You’re too old for that shit. Then you realize that while you were living, retiring and finally have some time to do what you want to do – your parents get sick and pass away. Often it doesn’t happen quickly, so you delve into your memories and fear of mortality and watch them shrink. The ones who cared for you are now under your care. It feels weird, but it’s okay. You love them and you do everything you can to make them comfortable and safe.
All around you people are dying. Their bodies are wearing out, their minds are too full to hold the events of today. Sometimes it’s a slow death, sometimes it’s quick, but whatever it may be, death hurts. No matter how good or bad the relationship, you miss them. So, I’m searching in my databanks for all of the good memories I can find. That’s what I want to hold on to, not the withering, not the failing, not the dying. And when all memory has faded, I hope it goes to black in peace and silence.