It’s no fun to be reminded you’re getting old. With each day that passes by there is a little less ‘potential’ and a little more ‘has been’ in my life. No, this is not a self-wallowing, pity party blog entry, just an observation. An observation that was made more evident as Lee and I went to see “Clerks II” at the movies.
It’s been 12 years since Kevin Smith wrote, directed and, through the grace of God, distributed his first movie “Clerks”. Lee and I decided to catch up on the first flick in preparation for the sequel. Well, not only has the writing, acting and production value dramatically increased since 1994, so has the span of time. I can’t believe it’s been THAT long since “Clerks” was released or, for that matter, since I’ve graduated from college! What’s funny is that one of the obstacles facing the main characters in “Clerks II” is what to do with the rest of their lives now that they’re in their thirties.
Needless to say it’s a theme to which I used to seriously relate. A year ago I would have written 700 words about how pathetic my life is and how I missed my window of opportunity. Come to think of it, I think I did write about that! But not anymore. Now I am able to see past the tears and the pain that once held me back. Now I am able to get up from the tumbles knowing that God allowed me to fall in order to learn and grow from those experiences. Now I realize with clarity that life is not a “one and done” path. Instead, it’s a series of forks in the roads with large challenges and equally large rewards. It’s a continuously swinging pendulum of educated guesses and blind fucking luck.
So what if I’m not where I “thought” I would be at 33? The cliché is true. Life is what happens in between making plans. There is no textbook model for cradle to grave living. It’s not always about One then Two then Three. And if anyone knows, it’s me. I used to be that guy. Mr. Binary. On or Off. Zero or One. Black or White. Then God blessed me with a WHOLE lotta’ gray in my life, and I am a better person for it.
I used to think that I had to do something because it’s what was expected of me or because it was the logical, next thing to do. Now I’m a little …. ahem, older …. and hopefully a little wiser, too. Granted, I still need to be responsible and plan for not only my future well being, but also for the well being of my kids and Lee. Nevertheless, I am now less about One then Two then Three and more about “surprise me.”
No one has the ability to control the world and circumstances that impact our lives, but we all posses the ability to choose how we react and respond to these forces. There is no ‘one size fits all’ solution that works for everyone. I do, however, believe that personal happiness is realized by first placing your faith in God and then by placing your faith in yourself. If you can wake up in the morning and focus on the road in front of you, instead of your current point in life or your past, then you’re already ahead of the game. And just like in the ‘Clerks’ movies, life is made better if you share with your best friend all those ups and downs you are bound to encounter.