Friday… Finally.. This week has been exhausting, physically, mentally and emotionally. I’m going against medical advice and chasing two 9oz glasses of Moscato with a Klonopin. There’s a good chance that I’ll be sleeping on the plane ride home.
It’s slowly been creeping into my psyche that I’m somewhere around middle-aged now. Aside from the increasing amount of gray hairs atop my head any my hairline in full retreat of my forehead, skin is getting a little loose here and there. Luckily for men, aging isn’t necessarily put under scrutiny, so I don’t have social pressure telling me that I need to defy aging entirely. So, what am I getting at, here? I still feel like someone in his 20’s. When I look at my wife or some attractive female, I feel the approximate mental and chemical reaction of that of a 13 year old boy. I guess I’m simple to please in that way. Anyway, mentally and physically I don’t feel like I match up. Emotionally I feel younger, but physically it’s a roll of the dice depending on the day.
I’m guessing I’m not the only one that feels like this. I wonder if transitioning to the next stage of life feels the same for everyone, and if so, if this is a continuing trend well into old age. I know my father struggles with the fact that he’s simply not able to do the things he was once able to do, and it’s rather distressing for him. H’s always working on several projects, some home improvement, some rebuilding engines or whatever. I know I feel this in other areas of my life, I need more than 4 hours of sleep per night, which is something new within the last couple of years. To function now I need a minimum of 6, ideally 7-8. My body aches, too, but usually in the areas of previous injuries, so I guess I’m lucky there. My wife is younger than me by nearly a decade, and luckily her energy level is about the same as mine, though as many men discover in middle age, or those on psychotropic medications, the mind may be willing and eager, but the lower plumbing certainly isn’t on the same page sometimes.
I’ve reached a point in my life that I can do the things I’d like to do. My working life is such that opportunities present themselves for me to go to a city and do something I’ve wanted to do, mostly because I’m already there and usually can afford to do whatever it is. The thing is though, I tend to sit alone in my hotel room and not venture out. I have my kinda-sorta friend at the hotel I frequent in Pittsburgh who runs the restaurant there, but I rank that friendship slightly above that of a working relationship with a therapist. A therapist is someone you pay to sit in a room and listen to you for approximately 44 minutes, followed by a minute of scheduling and payment. They are in essence, a paid friend. Non-paid friends can bolt at any time if they so choose, hence part of the reason you pay someone to listen to you speak of your inner demons and such. So, my hotel friend, she’s paid to be there, and as a customer she has to interact with me to some degree, but she does go out of her way to chat when I’m there. So, at least in one city, I don’t feel completely isolated.
If you could do essentially what you’d like to do, what would you do? I used to have lofty ideas about photographing all over the place, meeting people of different cultures and such, making friends in different cities and places and overall be more social. What I think I want to do and what I actually do are clearly two different things.
I’ve found that overall, people, myself included, don’t have a clue as to what we really want and don’t actually know ourselves too well. This usually plays out in romantic relationships, as you or someone you know falls deeply and madly in love with someone who’s totally not right for them. I had one ex whom was absolutely stunning – modeling stunning. She practically oozed sexuality. The way she dressed was provocative, she was highly intelligent with sharp, quick wit and was a f’ing force of nature. What guy wouldn’t fall for such a woman? Thing is, I wasn’t nearly as secure as I thought I was, we didn’t have much in common and I seemed perplexed that when she didn’t change how she dressed or carried herself once we were a couple, the same things that drew me to her were unsettling later. I’m far more secure now than I was then, but still, attraction aside, that’s a relationship that would never work.
As far as lifestyles go, I’ve tried on many skins over the years. I’ve been “open minded about everything” guy, “earthy/outdoors” guy, “artist” guy, “free-spirited” guy, “asshole” guy (this comes more naturally to some than others, but I was tired of being treated like a doormat), and the list goes on. I’m comfortable with whoever the hell I am now, but scarcely know myself. Approaching 40, I guess it’s time to stop trying to fit into some other skin and learn what my own looks like and go with it. The older I get though, the less I think I understand about the world around me. I’m learning, mind you, but many of my previously held thoughts and beliefs I’m challenging. That’s either a sign of maturity or neurological decline.
I think I spend too much time in my own head… Time to get ready to board.