I’m growing older. My once Odin-like vigor for playing searing shred guitar in a metal band is rapidly fading. Much like my also once Odin-like man-frame. I will now, nearing the age of 30, and with no shame, drive down the city streets in my Red Volkswagen Jetta loudly experiencing some wonderful orchestral scores. I’ve traded in technical prowess for melodic sensibility. I’ve given up drinking. I’ve blown off a group of my friends in favor of staying the night alone at home; writing or analyzing. Yes, yes, I am indeed growing older.
I reluctantly wear a tie to work. I flamboyantly roll my eyes at children playing in the streets, making fists and pulling their arms down from the skies in request of my car horn being honked. I’ve decided to stop eating red meat after gaining a quick twenty pounds over the past six months. Funny how we use these words, growing and gaining, as if to elicit some sort of hope from them. What we really mean is not that I’m “growing” older or “gaining” weight; no, I’m simply getting older and gathering pounds.
I’m trading one art for another. I’m all at once learning to appreciate things that would have warranted scoffing and contempt from my younger self and allowing the older me to become increasingly bitter and resentful towards things that same younger self enjoyed. Who was that younger self, anyway? Throwing caution to the wind was better described as strapping inhibitions and restraint to a stick of dynamite.
Revelry now seems futile. Yet, it’s not as if I’ve lost my passions in this world. What is the purpose of this struggle to try and remain relevant despite my aging? I’ve watched countless men reach their thirties and fall apart. One day they’re fervently calling their friends creative insults over rounds of Street Fighter and the next they’re asking you if you’ve heard the new U2 album. Is this my future? Will my love of Final Fantasy be traded for a love of some new golf clubs?
I don’t believe it will. I believe that I actually am growing and gaining. My tastes are aging with me. Right along with my experiences and memories. I’m taking those with me. Loss can breed growth and renewal if you paint the picture with an upstroke. So thank you, dear friend, for helping me paint this picture with an upstroke. Though your time was too short, your story was not.