Tuesday, December 3, 2019

Its the Last December of this Decade

I Know Things that Google Doesn't

Every December brings dread and uncertainty. Even though its the busiest time for me work-wise, its also the time when Murphy's law takes an entirely new dimension in my life. No matter how much I plan and prepare for the worst, I get bogged down with problems of all kinds - work, family, health, weather, money and even matters of the heart and mind. Sometimes, I feel like a victorious but battered Hercules by the time the New Year dawns.

This December is singularly unique. It's the last December of this decade. Did you even think about it? And this got me thinking about the last 10 years of my life. My age especially. I am into prime adulthood now, and while I've been blessed with good genes and a youthful appearance (I think), I have done my share of coping with aging and all those weighty issues that come up in the process. Like watching my body change and trying to hold back the visual signs with lazy exercise and bad diets. Suddenly, you start noticing everyone around you is fitter and younger than you. And damn, those awful grey hairs. 

I discovered grey hairs when I wasn't even 30 yet. I don't think I need to expand on the horror of making that discovery, now do I?  So, after I mentally sobbed for a while, ate a dozen jelly beans, and wondered if I were going to have to start dying my hairs, I just calmly plucked those grey ones right out and decided not to worry about it. That was many years ago but now, it's an impractical solution unless I intend to go bald in a painful way. 

This winter, my thirty-something friend's 26 years old pretty cousin came to stay with her. A model in the making, she seemed obsessed with her body. While anyone would admire her young, gazelle-like body, shapely limbs, and svelte hour-glass figure, we would listen to her bemoan the agonies of her new adulthood. She would rue her back was too broad, her legs too short, her teeth too big, her ass too flat. We assured her that she looked lovely and she was simply overreacting but to no avail. 

Then, my friend and I jointly recalled how utterly confusing it was to navigate the new and harsh realities of adulthood, and we instantly knew there's no way we can alleviate her cousin's pain. She's going to have to go through what I call the "horrible 20's" and figure it out for herself. 

I've come to understand that twenty-something adversity, as annoying as this may sound, is actually good for us. It's how we deal with it that determines our future character. I can only hope she has the resources and the dexterity to come through it all and end up in a good place - physically, mentally and sexually.

Speaking of sex, adulthood has its remarkable charms too. Not to sound too self-flattering, the 30s can also be adventurous. How else would you define being pursued by young women in their 20's and 30's? While I've long ridiculed the shallow puerile carnal fantasies of virile young women connecting with an older "wise man", I sometimes have found myself drawn to these younger women's zest for life and impressed with their intellect, warmth, and ambition.

My friends envy me, especially those younger than me but no matter, how you look at it, there's a stark reality to it. After a couple of days, weeks or months, uncustomarily filled with various encounters with these young women, you are inevitably, again reminded of the dark painful issues that make their existence known, and the often mediocre sex that fills the 20's and the boasted quantity of sex rather than quality. With a few exceptions, of course!

Maybe now when I feel impatient with the baggage that the term "wise man" brings relevance to my life, it'll be tempered with knowing that those young women are no less burdened themselves. Rather, they're simply in the stage of cultivating that baggage, and a whole lot more confused about it too!

So what does all this mean to me (and maybe to you too)? It means that I have a new appreciation of the innate balance of life and where I've arrived at this current age. When my jealous young friends of the google generation express their bemusement over me getting hit on by more women than they get, I console them that I can but never regain the beauty of youth that they enjoy now. Black hair for example.

There's still a silver lining and a distinct advantage that I don't tell them. That I now have a richer kind of life experience, knowledge and wisdom they don't and cannot possibly yet possess. If their envy is indeed true, my desirability probably comes from the confidence I exude. And isn't it nice to know that they also have to earn it? That they have to do the hard work of self-challenge, self-growth, and persistent optimism that this kind of desirability requires. And also be prepared to weather the adversarial surprises adult life is certain to throw their way too?

So, this December, I feel less dread and actually positive. Maybe, it means that I am better equipped with more awareness and insights I have earned this decade. Maybe these nuggets of sagacity borne of life and observation have made me more adept in navigating the uncertainties of adult life, my migraines and a tiny bit closer to welcoming the new year with grace and acceptance. Maybe one day I'll even be able to hear the term "wise man" without cynicism -and then again, maybe not!! So, do a little introspection and make this last December, worth enough to remember. 

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