Every year, my college girlfriend and I exchange birthday greetings. It's our version of Christmas cards. She, of course, carved out a "normal" life - marriage, motherhood, a successful career, and a healthy outlook on life. Me? Not so much. I am divorced. I have no children. My parents are both dead and I was estranged from each when they died. I do not talk to either of my sisters, so I basically have no family. I have not been on a "real" date in, I don't know, 3 years? 4 years? When I do "date" it is usually by paying women to have dinner, you know, just for ~ companionship ~ (which makes me feel like even more of a loser). My career has stalled out. I have no opportunity for advancement and yet, I don't have a readily marketable skill set that would allow me to find another job. It is a pretty grim tableau. Of course, the below is just the sanitized version, you know, the version that leaves out the really ugly and messy parts in favor of just making my life sound boring and mundane as opposed to hopeless:
I think 50 hit much harder than 40, which really did not seem like a big deal at the time or in retrospect. I guess I’ve spent a lot of time wondering how I became so … boring. I gave up fast food, junk food, red meat, and alcohol. My wardrobe is either suits/ties or UA/Nike workout clothing. I eat the daily recommended allowance of fruits and vegetables. I go to bed by 9 pm. I have cats and am happiest watching old Columbo reruns. I cut coupons. It’s just not the life I envisioned having and I now understand why researchers say depression peaks in middle age. You’re old enough to feel regret for all the things you didn’t do and scared shitless that time is running out to do the things you want to.
The worst part, if I'm being really honest, is that I know that time is running out and yet, I seem completely unmotivated/unwilling to change any of this.