Friday, February 15, 2013
OLD DAYS AND WAYS
Our lives enjoy the same sorts of cycles. We are young, rampant, fearless. We become thoughtful, contemplative, then cautious. We rely on a bag of tried-and-true tricks and grow afraid of trying to fail. One day we look up and no longer recognize the empires we once ruled.
The world has moved on, I realized tonight. The old days and ways are relics, quaint artifacts of a bygone time that not long ago seemed too vital to ever fall victim to extinction. It has nothing to do with age. Events create the mark.
This is the dangerous time, when most people stop trying. Nothing new excites you, moves you, motivates you. You let the tar pit of the past harden around your feet and the more you struggle the more you are trapped in your last era, the time of what was.
The same thing happens to the restless souls who rush forward through life without meaningful connections. You shrug off what was and live only in what is and think you are reinventing yourself. But reinvention only works when there are links to where you've been; otherwise you're just creating a series of increasingly brief, meaningless episodes, each one more superficial and simple than the last. In the end you are trapped by trivialities.
Or you can embrace what was, make peace with your past, and recognize a new epoch, the evolution of a life that is richer because of what has come before. The best parts of the past survive into the future, and you learn to appreciate them for what they brought and taught you, for what they can still mean to you for the rest of your life.
Stop trying, stop remembering, or stop fighting and start accepting and celebrating. Three choices, but only one worth living. On this Friday night, no more fighting. The world has moved on. So have I.