Today I am 40.
I am not one who normally dwells on age. It's always been just a number, not anything to think of, nothing I can control.
And it still is.
But it's with no small bit of nostalgia and a vaguely hurting heart that I look back today. So much time. Some good, some very good, some not so much.
I get it. Time marches on. Children grow up. Friends and lovers and sometimes even family pass from our lives. Youth becomes a memory for reliving over beer and barbecue by the pool. Stories of dancing on tables at the frat party; sneaking out bedroom windows with the neighbor boy, a first love; piercing ears and noses with an ice cube and a sewing needle; taking a forbidden road trip to Chicago to check out that horrible, frightening punk band. On a school night.
Stories that might be from someone else's life.
And the stories that didn't happen and, I realize today, never will. The packpack across Europe; the cross country road trip with that guy I still have a crush on; the move to New York to grit it out until fame and fortune hit.
No, now it's suburbia and PTA. Mortgages 1 & 2 and trips to the same seaside resort with the same friends year after year. I refuse to own a mini-van, though. I don't care about the practicality. But that's life. I'm not the first, last or only one to have this conversation with myself.
Right. I get it.
But that doesn't make the little bruise kept buried deep inside hurt less.
Someday, maybe, but today.