Every time I see an image of a spaceman (spaceperson?) in an urban setting, I feel a kinship. I often feel alien in urban settings, myself.
Last night, I stayed up all night playing Fallout 76. It doesn’t happen very often that I am so engaged with a game that I will forego sleep and risk the inevitable barfiness of the morning after, but that’s exactly what I did.
As someone with a chronic illness, and one that’s been around over twenty years no less, occasionally indulging a bit of fun is something I’m willing to risk. I generally try to keep my health in mind when doing most things, but, sometimes, staying up all night doesn’t seem like the worst idea ever.
It did, however, provide a powerful reminder that I am getting older and that was sobering as f*ck.
Later this month I will turn 41. Even just writing that I smushed up my face because it seems weird. In some ways, I don’t feel 41. Mentally, I feel younger, I suppose. I mean, sure, in my 20s I was doing the major life things I set out to do and felt my most personally fulfilled (e.g.: musical theatre), but I’m not sure I’d want to still be in my 20s.
In my 30s I was doing okay (I’d had a quite good job for a while until the department I ran was eliminated from the company), but then rapidly went downhill. My chronic illness issues worsened. I gained a lot of weight.
Basically, getting older seems to suck. I feel less and less relevant. The alternative, however, is about as unappealing as anything could be to me. If I could live forever, I’d love that. If I could upload my consciousness to a robot person, I’d love that, too. Basically, if I could become an Exo from Destiny, that’s pretty much what I’d do.
It is a startling reminder of my own mortality when I can’t even stay up all night without feeling like a heaping dumpster fire the next afternoon.
Aging has always been a concept that freaks me out.
I know there’s nothing I can do about it. It’s an inevitable one-way trip I’d never opt out of. But watching as life rushes by…it’s sobering to say the least.
I’d never think this about anyone else, but I feel like there are no more options to be relevant or cool (whatever the hell cool actually is) or of interest. I feel kind of like I’m floating around just telling myself, well, that was a run. It wasn’t a great run, but you made your choices, your mistakes, and now you ride this one out.
I know the future is filled with possibility and that I can still try to do the things I want to do; today was just a stone reminder of the flip side of that optimism.
Maybe I’m not making sense. I will admit that, as I’m probably mentally just back inside Fallout collecting weird things for a nebulous purpose like filling a campsite with teddy bears and plungers.
Basically, for me, getting older is weird, a little depressing, and something I clearly don’t know how to do with grace. Every November is a little difficult for me because of the annual reminder of my own mortality.
If you’re young and healthy, please enjoy the f*ck out of today for me.
Today is the youngest any of us will ever be, again.
I guess I’ll spend the day thinking about that while wandering the Wastelands in Fallout. It seems oddly, and fittingly, appropriate.
How do you feel about age and aging? And how old are you? And are you healthy? I’m curious how all those things play into how people see age.
P.S. The image above is Dreamer Astronaut by Karen Cantu. I love it.