Remember when you were young? Maybe you are reading this and still are. If you are, please, for me, be aware of your youth. I think because I've always had a pessimistic, half-empty natural bent, I was always aware of my impending death (hopefully later than sooner), so even when I was young and spry, I was aware of being young and spry. I was pretty good at keeping my eyes open and appreciative of young skin and energy and being free to travel and roam and stay up late and drink too much caffeine.
One of my oldest friends posted this morning on facebook a photo of us taken more than ten years ago. We were sitting in a 'krcma' (pub) in Slovakia, leaning on each other, pretending to be tipsy. We rarely ever really were. Except that one time when this same friend had me and another friend over to show us the video of his trip to China and kept refilling my glass of 'beton' when I wasn't watching. I was kind of drunk by the end of that night, not even sure how it happened. I was only 24. Twenty-four. Twenty and four years.
I woke up this morning in a funk, despite the warm, bright day. Everything was bristly and irritating to me. The boys left the house to run errands, and I'm drinking too much coffee and listening to old CDs from college, mix-CDs made by friends. Last night Ted took a photo of me and Abe, and I was just a little bit aghast at how old I looked. I feel so middle-aged. I suppose I am. I really am. I'm almost the age my mom was when she married my stepfather. That realization this week made me feel oh so old.
I'm not exactly sure why I'm putting these laments about aging out there. This morning, I simply feel sad, not about aging but about the loss of the lives I've left behind. Maybe it's just that I miss my friends. I've always been quick to make space in my heart for new people. The result is that I have a trail of loved ones behind me. I've never left a place without tears. It's jarring that realization that you'll never again be as beautiful, as thin, as free to roam. Wouldn't it be nice to go back to relive just one day?
Please don't take this as meaning I don't love my current life. I do. I just might think you're crazy if you never look back without even a twinge of longing every now and then.