A few months ago I was writing what was supposed to be a short monologue from one of the older characters in my novel who was sharing some words of wisdom with the younger generation. Somehow that little monologue grew out of proportion and I had to cut it out, but I just couldn't part with it. I kept it, floating around without a place to be. It doesn't really reflect the story of the novel, since it is kind of a little essay in its own right. However, I share it with you today. I titled it
Life is a crazy ride. Most of the time it's full of uneventful days, sometimes even boring. One day after another of the same occurrences and hard as you may try you end up sucked into the enormous momentum that is “routine”. Life goes on with its ups and downs and at some point we’re bound to find ourselves in a crossroad where we’ll have to make a choice that we know will affect the rest of our life. Usually we come across this kind of decisions maybe once a year every odd number of years, but certainly no more than 10 or 12 in a lifespan.
It's kind of astounding when you think about it: These are the moments that shape a life. When you are 70 and look back, everything you are and have is a direct consequence of merely a dozen crucial moments and most of the times you don’t feel as old as your body tells you.
You don't think one decision a year every now and then would be hard to keep up with? Well, think again: College or no College? Get married or keep single? Take this job or that one? We don’t come across these questions that often but when they come, boy, they’re hard.
As you may have noticed before, life has a way of confounding us even more so when men in our usual arrogance think we have it all figured it out. “Lets send them a curve ball to spice it up!” And so it happens that one of those 'one-decision-year' turns out to be a 'several-decisions-year'; or even no decisions whatsoever but a series of events that are completely out of your hands and that end up not only defining the future but changing the whole ballgame. Then, at the end of those 12 months you find yourself looking in the mirror with a few more crowfeet and a bunch of new white in your hair but felling like a thousand years older. Those eyes looking back at you in the mirror look somehow wiser and you’re not yourself anymore but, if God was good to you, a new improved you. And you wonder, how is it possible that you suddenly caught up with your age when only 12 months ago you felt so much younger?
So here’s what I think. Had it not been for those “curve balls” we'd wound up at 70 feeling like a 5 year-old (which most 70 year-old men are, anyway). We need the uneventful years to help us process those life-changing years where we find ourselves growing wiser and older; then we use some of the boring times to carve a comfortable place in the new life that was thrust upon us to rediscover ourselves in a wiser state, so we are able to keep moving forward when life knocks on our door again.
After all the things you’ve gone through, when you turn 70 and look back to your life thinking: How the hell did it all go so fast? When the reflection in the mirror is that of an old man that somehow doesn’t seem to reflect who you really feel you are, look real close to those eyes looking back at you and you’ll recognize the wisdom in his eyes even though you don’t feel the years in your skin.
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There you go. Share your thoughts, any criticism is welcome and I can't wait to hear what you think of my little piece. I hope you liked it!