Recently I have had some more revelations and perhaps the backdrop of a very difficult and emotional year has helped some of these discoveries come to life. Perhaps? However, what these revelations will be worth to me remains to be seen.
It started with me thinking that for as long as I can remember I have marked off each year with the vain hope that the next year would be better. The problem is though that we have limited years left to us so what can be done with all these wasted years and how can the future be any better?
I recall when I was teenager how I felt happy that I was no longer considered a child and yet being a teenager was really hard too. As a young adult I was glad that I was no longer a teenager and had I had more independence and control of myself. When I entered my thirties I was glad that I was done with my twenties and felt a little more confident in who I was.
This trend seemed to continue throughout my life until today I find myself approaching middle age, looking back on what was and worried about what is to come.
I like that I know myself better as I have emerged from each struggle, difficulty and pain but I am also worried that I haven’t done what I wanted, been what I should have and have what I think I want.
And time is running out to change things.
Perhaps we all feel like this? Perhaps it’s just me? I see more mistakes and losses looking backwards and I don’t see where the remaining years can take me. This can feel deeply saddening, sometimes, and other times it can feel confusing. Sometimes both.
The problem is that at my age and place in life everyone seems happier and more content than me. Everyone seems to have answers that I don’t. Everyone seems more at peace than me. Perhaps that’s just my perception ?
A quick glance at some memes and motivational tidbits and we are told to remember to seize the day, be all you can be and do what we feel inside, but how realistic are these things? I have been told these things by people who also have told me how terribly difficult their lives are and how awful their jobs are etc.
So are we any better off at 50 than we are at 15? Instinctively I want to say yes! But I am not sure it’s true anymore. You see quite often I feel like a 15 year old trapped in a 50 year old body. And I think on some deeper level I always will be no matter what age I am.
To me it seems like it is human nature to want to believe the best is yet to come, to believe we are nearing some sort of Nirvana type state the older we get, but I think that what we see is simply the recurring pattern played out over each decade and being replaced with new worries and concerns.
When I was 15 I didn’t know a thing about life, or anything else for that matter, and today is no different. I am still as clueless as ever but I do know a tiny bit more about myself and that’s all I feel I have gained over the past 50 years and it feels incredibly soul crushing.
I see young people look at me as either a great inspiration or a cautionary tale for their own lives, depending on how they see me. When they see me as a chronically disabled person they look as though they don’t want to be me just as much as I wouldn’t want to be them either.
I think the truth in all this is that the price of living means you forever swap one set of problems for another. We swap different challenges for others. And so on and so forth.
There is no pinnacle of the mountain and no marching band when you get there. The cost of living is to forever struggle. Forever to look forward and backwards.
It was only then that I discovered the one ray of light in all this. It was only then that I discovered what could make it feel a little easier in the midst of such confusion and worries. The realisation that sometimes we meet someone along the way who sees our struggles, feels our pain, shares our lives and lights our fires to make us keep going one more day. They know us and feel is on a whole different levels and help us see ourselves.
And, for me, that’s what makes this life worth living.
2 thoughts on “The Growing Problem”
You so eloquently write my feelings Trish … I feel very much the same way … looking for some type of “better life “ and looking at the past with a feeling of loss and disappointment that I didn’t accomplish more.
I wonder often if it’s just me as you say , so many people seem at peace and somewhat enlightened as they get older and I do feel I’ve grown , definitely but I don’t feel I’ve accomplished half of what I thought I would in my life .
Illness I know has taken a lot of those opportunities away from me and I guess I seem to start every year saying I’ll live in the moment , try not to look too far forward or backward with regret , yet I still find my self in a place of unrest ….
You know if not for Sheryl, I might be a muti-gazillion not much. But with her I am clearly a poor down trodden rich guy.
Yeah sometimes I thin you know had we not gotten married I could have, or would have or should have,,, well not much really.
No matter if I had been rich I would have been nothing without her. Not a thing.