I have only been 32 for one month and four days, but already I am feeling it. What do I mean by "feeling it"? I am not sure exactly, I just know that I don't particularly like it. I still swam around in the delusion of endless possibilities when I was 31, but now I am sinking into the realization that a lot of things are too late and a few things never were. I am at the age where people gasp and say, "You seem so much younger!" I am at the age where I don't mind looking younger, but I don't want to be necessarily treated younger. I want to have the respect that comes with adulthood, the respect that I suspect may be fictitious. I at least want the LinkedIn profile that lists all of my awards and accomplishments and impressive abilities. I at least want that.
But I don't have those things. Not yet. And for most of the hours of the day I don't let it get to me too much. Then nighttime happens and the world slows down along with my ability to come up with quick distractions. I can't distract and so I dive into the past and approach regret; I turn the other way in an attempt to leave only to run headfirst into the future, which fills my lungs with a quiet despair. And then I fall asleep, the underwater existential experience continuing, albeit now a little stranger and full of unknown shadows.
Light will break through at some point. It always does. Oxygen will return and I'll walk on land again. I know we go at our own pace, our own private pains slowing progress occasionally. But we go on. The desire for a map won't ever leave, but we've got to realize we already know the directions, the landscape, the hidden corners by heart. If only we'd quiet down enough to hear the contraction of the muscles, the eternal cycle, the hum of what lies beneath.