I feel old these days, with people I used to know and people I still know getting engaged and married. We’re all growing up and it’s happy and sad at the same time.
This is the best life I can possibly imagine for myself. Married to a woman who (it’s true, I didn’t make it up) loves me and who I love back. Living in a pretty nice apartment in a bit of a rough neighbourhood with access to all the amenities we want. Need a coffee? Walk over and get one. Need some groceries? Five minutes down the road. Want to rent a video? Basically across the street. Want to buy Chinese rice and fish heads? Asian supermarket around the corner. Want cheap (in every meaning of the word) furniture? Ten minutes away, an Ikea. You get the picture.
I mean, I can imagine living in a swankier place, owning a house with a backyard and all that jazz, but I don’t think it would make me any happier. It might be the icing on the cake. But right now I have everything I need and more than I ever thought I could have.
That’s good. I don’t miss my subterranean existence in that miserable hovel of an apartment I used to have. I don’t miss being precariously poised on the edge of infatuation and incandescent disaster. I don’t miss the restlessness of wanting something or someone and being constantly outside looking in. I don’t miss much. Maybe, sometimes, I miss the way there were only two bus stops between me and work, but that’s it.
It was never the best of times. It was almost always the worst.
Yet there’s still something about being young. Or younger. I’m pushing 30 here. I don’t feel it at all and I wonder if anyone ever really does. At 20, 30 seemed so very far away. Now, at 27, it feel right around the corner. There was a time when I counted hours in a day. Now I count days in a week. Soon, I suspect, I’ll be counting weeks, and then years.
I miss being a romantic. Not the action of being romantic, not the things I do to make Laura feel loved, but actually being a romantic. I think it was being on the other side of dreams coming true that made me feel as if it must, must happen. As if getting there was the reason behind so many thing. Now that my dreams have come true — in ways different than I could have imagined — I can’t help but notice all those people whose dreams, whatever they are, have not and may never will.
You may always find yourself chasing a dream and never getting anywhere, feeling like you were destined for something bigger than yourself and falling short of your expectations. Or you will fall in and out of love like a person breaking the surface of an ocean and going under again and again. You may never get there. Maybe you will find it and it will leave you.
I’m not a romantic anymore. Oh, I fall for a good love story like anyone else — Endless Love was almost too good to be spoiled by its awful ending, for instance — but I’m not enamoured of the concept that life works out all the time. Maybe that’s because mine seems to be, so far, despite me. I don’t know. God works in mysterious ways, as the song goes, and despite what you may think about God, I’m pretty sure some of those mysterious ways are to teach concrete lessons. Sometimes people get what they don’t deserve, and sometimes they do. Either way.
Tonight I can’t sleep. I think it has something to do with the coffee I had three hours ago. I know, drinking coffee before bed, not a good thing. I used to be able to do that.
To all you people I used to know: Congratulations. At least five or six of you got married. This is good. And to those that I still know: Double congratulations. You’re great people. I hope very much you remain happy.