lake street dive
When I was younger, I always assumed that the person I married would be somebody that I’d known my whole life—or close to it. As I’ve gotten older, though, I’ve realized that this is probably (definitely) not going to be the case. I had always thought it was weird, people agreeing to spend the rest of their lives with someone who wasn’t even there for a substantial part of it. How could they possibly explain everything that the other person had missed? How could they possibly understand all the memories the other person had inside of them? It just seemed so strange to me.
But that’s the prospect I am faced with now, at my advanced age. And not just romantically—platonically as well. I don’t have any friends that I’ve known forever. I don’t have that one friend that knows all of my embarrassing childhood stories. And I’m at the point where I’m wondering if it’s possible to make a friendship now that will feel as comfortable and as secure and as strong as I imagine a life-long friendship to feel like. Is it possible to start things like this after floating through friendships, through relationships, through life for a quarter of a century?
I guess I have to hope that it is.
Lately, I’ve been faced with a lot—A LOT—of reminders of how short life really is, and how no one is guaranteed tomorrow. And I’ve been kind of resenting my younger self for allowing my overly-cautious nature to govern all of my decisions, and for my tendency towards late-blooming, and for not fighting harder to maintain friendships, and for not being brave enough to be more open with people. Mostly, I resent my younger self for not taking more chances. For not making more mistakes (or, more specifically, for not making better, more interesting ones). I mean, man. Youth really is wasted on the young. Why didn’t I make better mistakes when I was young and mistakes didn’t mean as much? Why didn’t I realize how lucky I was to be young? Why didn’t I give into my emotions and let myself feel things in that passionate, unabashed, carefree, intense, liberating, excruciating way that only teenagers can? Why was I so content to sit on the sidelines and watch everyone else do things and experience things and be things and have things that I wanted? Why am I still so hesitant to enter the game?
I feel like I have digressed a lot, and gotten really quite depressing. Basically, my point is that I never had a teenage romance and that is something that I really regret. And whoever I meet now (assuming that I will meet somebody, fingers crossed guys), I will wish I had met them when I was younger. And if I had the opportunity to be seventeen again, I’d do it so much better than I did the first time around.
from One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories
by B.J. Novak
The couple retired to a villa in Rieti, Italy, that they had learned about from an in-flight magazine feature on affordable retirement destinations. It was about fifty minutes outside of Rome by car, and the husband often went into Rome for errands.
”This car charger isn’t working for some reason. I’m going to head into Rome and get a new one.”
”Don’t they have them in the gas station in town? I’m sure I’ve seen them there.”
”Maybe, but better selection in Rome, probably. Better prices in Rome, too. They’re always going to charge you more at a gas station in a small town. It’s a convenience fee that you’re paying in those places. It’s fine, I was going to be heading that way anyway—I’ve been meaning to swing by Rome to get some garden shears, too. Anything else? I can call you and check when I get to Rome.”
He loved saying “Rome” like that. ”Head into Rome”, “swing by Rome.” It was just the nearest place to them. How cool was that! Rome, the city of legends, of conquerors, of history, of myth—this was where he bought batteries! The place that people saved up to visit their whole lives: for him, this really was simply the place where he might fill up on gas one day and where the next day he’d have to know the right shop to pick up flowers for his wife to thank her for making dinner—with ingredients he had also picked up in Rome. Rome! That’s all Rome was to him! Nothing special at all!
”I should be home by five, or six at the latest. It’s Tuesday, so you never know about that rush hour traffic, coming out of Rome.”
”Okay. That’s fine. See you then.”
”See you then!”
And he headed into Rome.
Sometimes I wish I had learned everything earlier and that my real life could have started sooner. Other times, I’m glad that the first part of my life lasted as long as it did. It doesn’t really matter, though. None of it could have been any different.
— B.J. Novak, One More Thing stories and other stories
"Kellogg’s (or: The Last Wholesome Fantasy of the Middle-School Boy)"
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.
— ephesians 2:10