Gabrea Journal
The ongoing adventures of three Libertines in love!

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Thursday, August 17, 2006

Age, agelessness, and tracking your track record

I find myself looking back upon my life more and more these days. Maybe it's the fact that I have allotted more time in my life for such things, or maybe it's just what semi-young men like myself do at 36+ years of age. Whatever the reason, I seem to spend my days doing this. Thinking about the past... Where I have been, what I have done, and what I said I would do. Remembering what I had hoped life would be like now.

What's interesting to me is that I think I have always had a habit of doing this. Thinking about what I used to think about. Did I dream that I would be like this? Is this what I think I wanted life to be about? Stoney thoughts not withstanding, one only needs to look at life's list of "what I want to be when I grow up" to see not only a change in "career" goals, but a change in self and self-image, goals and goal-keeping...

My youth is a dream-like blur. I never remembered much of the early years, even while living them. Don't think I paid much attention to life as a small one. Small yet potent memories of things parents say, loving moments of laughter and safety, and the many stumbles and discomforts of early life stick with me. The future was the moment, and dreams were short lived desires, based around the material of life. What did I want to be? My parents I think, and I believe I touted wanting to be a Veterinarian. Why? Who knows, since I never had pets per say (that lasted long...). The parent thing was a good plan though, and we of course circle back around to that in later, wiser years. Ah, the un-seen forethought of childhood.

Teenage daydream:
Hard facts - pre-pubescence is tough on the latin-motherboys, as it is tough on every young man. Getting through the challenge of cool, school and general clique politics was the job of the day, and fading memory holds that some days were barely survived mentally by this particular young man. Sure, sure, "it made me strong, and the proud individual I am today" (registered trademark of all happy adults who were tortured with self-doubt as teens) but alas, the pre-adult years were WORK. What did I want to be when i grew up? Smoker - check. Drinker - check. Rocker - forever. Long-hair vagabond - check, though the hair was temporary. I remember love was key to this all, even way back then. Love. Women. Freedom, in its earliest teenage view - this was the path to glory.

18 into twenty-nothing:
Hello life. The hard road to identity is paved with the shed costumes of my early adulthood. Behind me lie the clothes of a dead-head, business man, goth underlord, classic rocker, glam rock queen, and so many others. Coming out of each of them, I knew I was just trying out the visual and cultural flavors of life, and to this day, carry a bit of each of them with me. Even as careers came and went, the dream of rock and roll ebbed and flowed, and success in retail turned to golden handcuffs, I knew that outside of my unstoppable desire to party, I needed to keep it together and successful to allow for all other abandons. Career goals? Entertainment was the word, and if not music, then art, animation, whatever - it would be big. Producer? Director? Big. It would work out. Oh, and the love thing, as painful as it often was, was always the key, through all these days.

Dirty thirties:
Ah, to turn thirty again. The feared number never bothered me much. My twenties were such a fucking good time that just surviving them was a reason to celebrate. Not that I slowed down in my thirties, I just refined my self-destruction so it shaped me more than erased me. I got the love-thing-gift as well, which brought a focus that sharpened my wisdom. That, as well as career going strong makes one truly start to look at what the future may hold outside of current planning. In the sort of work that I had found for myself (management and organizational claws have always been sharp), I started to realize that success brings with it the weight of eternal devotion to said work for it to bear fruit. This kind of success means working at it forever...and the possible resentment of your very soul and freedom you so sought. A catch-22, if ever there was one. Successful enough to appreciate the gifts, wise enough to begin to see the other gifts one can give himself, clarity slowly came over these years. What did I want to be when I grew up? Free. Also, it seems slowly becoming my parents at this age also holds less bad, and more promise. Hell, they made me with all the limitations of being immigrants to this country, they can't be all bad.

As my memories catch up with today, It is easy to see the path and growth of the dream-scape. Where the payment from life was once paid to self and with selfishness, it continues to grow into being worth something else. The currency of life has become experience, and the job is to keep experiencing - realizing the importance of this job above all others (besides loving your lover) is slowly making me rich. Always set a goal, and keep moving towards that ever moving target. Age seems to have very little to do with it, outside of health, which ironically can stop all the dreams - ironic since the actions of my twenties will surely expedite the health failing sooner. Anyway, I feel that one can feel more like an unstoppable child as they near 40 - far more than they did doing childish things in their twenties, if you catch my drift.

I find myself looking back on my life, as I feel we all should. Celebrating the life we have led, and all the steps that we climbed to get to this overlook, helps us always find things to smile about and share with others. As new challenges arise, I stop and celebrate the ones I have overcome, by myself, with my lover, with my friends, and realize, that I am basically unstoppable. At least by my track record, what I remember of it, or whatever make-believe I now use to fill in the forgotten gaps.

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