In the face of whatever is bearing down on me this particular day of life, be it good or bad or endless lines of boring reaching out into the horizon, there is a simple directive that will not cease: open up the laptop, fire up a new file, and start writing. Sunday morning news is full of stories of people who have it much worse than I ever have. Stories that make my handful of go-to tragedies seem like a sad little half-baked crew who can only prompt a tear or two.
The new house is looming over me. The first Sunday we are sitting inside it with all of the moving done, and paperwork taken care of, leasebreaking finished, and things are more or less removed from boxes and placed on shelves and walls. Perhaps it’s going to be about a month from now. Work will have settled into mindless running of reports and sending of emails and talk of the next big marketing campaign that will generate all the new logos required for everyone to retire.
I will be living in the neighborhood I really wanted to live in almost twenty years ago when I let myself be convinced that I could live elsewhere. I will be happily pulling the bike out of the garage for some weekend warrior work, and shuffling into the workshop to stand at an easel and throw a little paint on a canvas. My wife and I will probably start trying to make child number two.
Will the rest of the world wait around for me to catch to being the kind of man I was supposed to be some twenty years ago? Who knows? I don’t have any control or say-so in what happens with presidents and governments and social movements. I am a member of that nothing generation, nobody’s generation, the forgotten generation who grew up while everyone was away. I like it this way. I wanted to be born in the time that I was born, I picked out this form, this masculine self.
If a man can’t have a suburban garage full of yard games, camping gear and bicycles, then what kind of man is he? My middle-age dream has become the tried-and-true dream first put into play by the Greatest Generation after WWII and brought into full fruition by the Baby Boomers. My own generation, the least generation, despised the work ethic of the boomers, and tried its hand at living shiftlessly until its joints hardened and now most of my GenX peers are trying to get caught up with having a proper family (if the starter family didn’t work out) in a suburban home somewhere.
Am I still occasionally obsessed with the mystical things, the question of where I came from and where I am headed after I die? Of course, but I have spent the better part of my adulthood trying to get the universe to answer me, and mostly it has been silent in this matter. My reason for wanting to know what happens when I die was probably never pure and sincere–I always had the vision in the corner of my brain of being the next great, best-selling author of a line of mystical, self help books.
Follow me, and you will achieve your true potential, nay, your true potential will be unlocked and taken to the next level. You will realize your starchild mission and destiny.