I'm 384 months old
I'm older. Yesterday was my birthday. 32. I know everyone says this at every birthday, but I don't feel 32. I always do math equations at every birthday. 32 is halfway to 64. When I was 16, I was halfway to where I am now. Stange. 16 doesn't feel like half a lifetime ago. I've always been a little age obsessed. (Maybe I'm a little death obsessed...calling Dr. Freud...)
I have always felt this overwhelming urgency with life. It's that urgency that makes me try to make things happen before their time...causes me to throw my entire self into whatever seems most important at the moment, often ignoring whatever else is present.
However, its that urgency that has allowed me to pack so many lifetimes, so many versions of myself into my 32 years. Since I can remember I have feared normality...I've loathed the idea of just fitting into whatever the people around me say is a normal life.
As I write this today, I realize more than ever that I'm writing about the very core of myself. So much of an epiphany that I'm tempted to erase it all and move on. My biggest hope is that this urgency for life would disappear. That I could be content in all things as our fathers teach us. However, my biggest fear is that I lose the urgency. That I grow comfortable in a life without adventure, risk and mystery. I want both. Perhaps, for me anyway, that is salvation. To be compelety calm and at peace amidst the urgency of and knowledge of the brevity of our lives. And yet to claim the urgency, for my sake and for heaven' s sake, to live in the mirth and joy and adventure and creativity that this world affords. To be the pacifist mercenary, the violent healer, the insane lover, the beautiful wound, the enlightened fool that I was meant to be.
I do feel like most people don't take enough risks. This from a guy who has never jumped out of an airplane and is afraid of snakes and spiders...To me those things aren't risks...just very odd hobbies. As a poker player, I just feel like we don't go "all in" enough. I can think of several situations where I've gone "all in" in my life. Where I've risked everything for a greater payoff. To date, I can't say that these moves have proven profitable, not the way I had hoped anyway, and certainly not monetarily. But to imagine a life without that kind of risk-taking repulses me. My faith story is one of "all in" risk taking: Abram departing his home childless, slaves leaving Egypt, weaponless soldiers marching around Jericho, a whole nation sending a little boy with a rock to battle a giant...then it culminates in God himself going "all in" to humanity as a fetus and then again "all in" to death on a cross. Who are we to live an utterly cautious life and still claim this story as our own?
So...I'm closer to 40 than I am to 24. I'm the one year away from that age that Jesus died. Six years ago I had a steady paycheck and a house. Now I don't have those things...but I did pick up a couple of kids in that time. I think I got the better of that deal. Ten years ago I had a beautiful wife who loved me and supported all of my risky ideas. Today I have a more beautiful wife who loves me after knowing how hard that can be at times...and who still supports my even riskier ideas. 32 years ago I was born to two parents who loved me and love each other. They called yesterday. Nothing has changed. For all my appearant regret...I wouldn't change a thing.
Who'd have known I'd be this rich at 32?