I have wondered, over the years, when I was going to grow up. People who know me have probably wondered the same thing. I finally figured it out; if I’m not grown up by now, I probably never will be. I don’t know if it’s a bad connection in one of my chromosomes or what, but at seventy I still don’t think much differently than when I was twenty. I’m not saying that some of my opinions might not have changed, but the methodology of how I come to those opinions is pretty much the same as it’s been….forever.
I blame my parents.* They were too easygoing. My mother was a gracious and a talented artist and pianist, but as I think back, I’m not certain she ever really wanted to be a mother. Not that she was cold to us, she just wasn’t “motherly”. My father, on the other hand, was no disciplinarian and I think he just wanted the two of us to be pals. My older sister was a much better student (smarter too), and always seemed to have a plan. I on the other hand, was permitted to pretty much go my own way as long as I never got into trouble, which I never did. The result was a person who never had a specific goal, and a person without a specific goal or plan has a tendency to never amount to much and that is a pretty good discription of yours truly.
Where am I going with this? I think I have just been ruminating on the fact that even if you don’t do anything, if you just hang in there long enough you will eventually become a “senior”. You become an older version of the person you always have been. This is something you don’t realize when you are young. You don’t realize that life isn’t like school; you don’t graduate into some other existence as a senior, you just get older. When I talk to other seniors one of the common comments is that old age comes as a surprise. You go to work, go on vacations (if you’re lucky), get married (maybe divorced) and one day, much to your amazement, you look at yourself in the mirror and see this old guy looking back at you with grey hair and bags under the eyes, and it’s then that you say, “When did I get to be this old?” I think this is the cause of the look of befuddlement young people mistake for senility when they think we’re lost. They’re wrong. It’s not that we’re lost, we just don’t know how we got here.
*Of course I’m not serious! I am a firm believer in taking responsibility for oneself, and my life choices were never forced upon me.
Olympus OMD EM1 with 40-150mm f2.8 zoom, processed in Snapseed.