The last day of 38

As I walked Max early this morning, I thought to myself “Today is my last day being 38” And then I asked myself, so what does that mean? The answer was not special. “I guess it means just that, it’s my last day being 38 and tomorrow I’ll be 39.”

But we all know I’m not that simple. I like to dig in, go deep, think about things, usually until I can’t or just plain don’t want to think about them any more, or until I’m all thinked out.

Have you ever been walking down a random street in a town in Europe and suddenly bump into a statue of a guy decorated for something marvelous that he did, probably incredibly selfless, that changed history for ever, and when you look at the dates you realize this guy was probably not even 30 when he accomplished such great tasks, meriting all the glory of a public statue? Have you seen that? Did it make you stop and think what you’ve done in your first 30 years of life? How do you fare? How does one compare our seemingly regular lives to those who have actually done something to make the world a better place?

I think of myself and my 38 years, and I want to know: what have I accomplished? Will I ever merit a public recognition like this statue guy? Is that what I was meant to do and just missed the boat? Or is it even what I want to do? Do I still have time? Can I still do it? I don’t know.

Every year around my birthday I get a little melancholic. I review my life. I think about the past year, but also think about the big picture. What does it all mean? Am I where I want to be? Am I doing what makes me happy? Is this my mission in life? And more frequently than not, the answer is “I don’t know”, because really, I don’t.

So here I stand, the day before I turn 39 (don’t even want to think I have just one year to 40, whatever that may mean) and ponder. Ponder my life, my accomplishments, my wants, my level of satisfaction with myself, my overall happiness. And as I do that I wonder, will I ever know for sure, that what I am doing is what I was meant to do? Will I ever be 100% sure? Will I have and feel that conviction inside? Or will I always need that external recognition and validation? Will I need the statue?

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