The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be. - unknown
The older you get the more ringing in the New Year can be like another birthday. You are always thankful for another one but it also reminds you of what you have and have not accomplished. I always get the New Year’s blues.
Sometimes the sheer exhaustion from the end of a year leaves the heart’s essential passion out to dry, wrung out like a rag is rid of its moisture. On the other hand one might be on a high like the naivete of a puppy tossing all the seriousness of life to the wind of carelessness. The amazing highs and lows of life has seemed to slip by me the older I get. The gut-wrenching cries of the voice of the blues or the soul of love crooning by the window of our protective shell. Do we lock things out or lock them in? At what point do we begin to expect too little of the craved and always expect too much of the unwanted? Do you remember how swimming in the cool refreshment with friends made everything on a heavy summer day new again? Ever wonder if the longing for love gets in the way of accepting it? Can you feel the cool breeze of a New Year springing through your hair blowing the minutely existent troubles into a distant memory? Has life always been this complicated or has getting older made it easier to except the collecting dirt in the wheel of our everyday?
As each year passes the days seem to slip right off the calendar. They go by so quickly it seems that an entire week, month and year disappear all together. Like money, they come slowly yet they seem to dissolve more quickly that you can comprehend. Just as laughter often makes us forget the joke, our reactions can sometimes overshadow the simple things in life. Countless seconds of each day I wonder. I question where I am going on this personal map of uncertainty. With one slight veer from the main road I can find myself on a dissipating dirt road. For the last few years I have been fighting to higher ground for a clear view of a sign. At times along the way tripping seems drastically easier than getting back up. Even when I do the dust still clings to me. I want an old calendar, an infinite hourglass, an updated map and a fresh change of clothes.
I believe that some of us go through life with purpose. Some have purpose assigned to them, some just know their purpose and some search for it. However, I do not neatly fall into any those categories and I wish I did. At one time I thought I knew my purpose but somehow I lost it along the way. I am hoping that either my purpose finds me or that I find it. However, I have a strong suspicion it will not seek me out. For a while I thought my purpose was to help others by taking on the role of Robin Hood. I thought I was a revolutionary fighting for the underdogs. Then I lost myself in that so I tried to reclaim my life in a selfish stage. After that experiment, I realized I needed to find a way again to help others. Some find their purpose through religion, others through isolation and some through adventure. Some people try to lose themselves in distractions. Distractions can be fun but I refuse to lose myself only to never return.
As we add numbers to our age we also gain experience. To me, 'if we knew then what we know now' is moot. We can never be who we were. It is impossible. We are constantly changing and as we change so do our goals. Maybe we should strive to be who we have never been instead of trying to relive who we already were.
We live in a world full of mirrors yet we are constantly looking beyond them keeping them out of focus. Why is the end of the year the main trigger to truly take time reflect on the past? Simultaneously, the New Year begins so why not embrace the potential of the unknown? We can only learn more than we know now. After all, we can not predict, direct or control the future. We can only live it.
by Trey Mitchell