I need help (as if some of my friends already know). I am broke (and out of money, too, but that is another story for another day). I need to be fixed (No! Not “fixed” as in what happens to a dog). Oh nevermind. Let me just go on to explain my situation.
I am broken, frazzled, perplexed, shattered, non-functional, fried, kaput, messed up (stop me when you get the idea), dilapidated, tired, puzzled, and a few other descriptive terms that only Daniel Webster could find in order to describe the conundrum I am in.
I have severely noticed that my life has changed. Whether it was for the better or worse remains to be seen. All I know is that it is different. I am 62 years old at this moment. If I go back to half of my life when I was a brisk and bright (Okay. Maybe I wasn’t so bright) 31-year-old man, I had a few things going for me. First of all, I was alive whereas some of the people who grew up with me never made it out of their 20s. So, I guess that I had that advantage. I stayed in school and finished studying for my Master's degree a few years sooner. I still had most of my childhood friends beaten in that area, too. I had a steady job and my own car. Dare I say it? I was also seeing a lady or two (No! Not at the same time. I may be many things, but I was never a cad). It seemed to me that life was going my way and I enjoyed it. I thought that nothing could ever go wrong until the day that my sister died back in 1987. My life changed somewhat, but I did not see it that day until she closed her eyes for good that day.
Back then, I seemed to have it made in the shade (what in the heck does that expression really mean?). Life seemed to be sort of happy until she passed on.
Now, I looked back on my life and noticed that things have severely changed. In between 31 and today, both of my parents passed away. Other people have left my life, too, especially the lady who I really wanted to marry. I have difficulty really adjusting to being among people again and I also can’t wait to retire from teaching as well. In fact, I usually wake up and ask myself, “Is this the day that I am finally close the book (no pun intended) on my teaching career?” When I get together with my best friends who are all the people who attended high school with me, I noticed something. We have aged. Most of them have aged very well. Some (me) have not. All I remember is that one day, I went to bed at 18 and woke up at 62. What happened to all of that time in between?
Right now as I pen this mini-tome, I am sitting in the upper level of a parking garage at my college alma mater. I am looking at the Manhattan skyline and just thinking about my past and where it is going to take me. I simply do not know.
Life is so funny, but not in the ha-ha sense. It is funny because just when you think that you have it all figured out, it pulls a switcheroo on you and you are suddenly out of the answers that you thought you had in the first place. I have no answers for what I am going through at the moment. Maybe it is a part of the aging phase of my life. I don’t know. Others around me seem to be adjusting very well to it. Or are they?
I am not bitter. I am just perplexed. I guess that I am more stunned than anything else. When I was a student in my younger days, I used to scoff at the adults who tried to tell me better. Now, I am the adult in the room who always gets scoffed at.
I honestly don't know what to say. It seems like my life has taken on a whole new hue. Perhaps that hue has always been with me, but I just failed to notice it being there. It's like I am seeing that I am all alone, on my own or a combination of both. There are times that I find it very hard to deal with the feeling. I am forced to try and take a break from my regular routines and take a "mental health" day instead. These mental health days allow me to just roll around in my Jeep and air my brain out. Sometimes it helps, most of the time it doesn't. I find myself chatting with my closest friends, those who I feel very comfortable with and who truly understand where I am coming from. Being with them and talking with them helps a great deal. Still, what am I going to do when they are no longer around? I simply don't know.
Sometimes, I go to cemeteries to see my loved ones; my parents, my baby sister, my mentor, the lady I wanted to marry, and others. One day, my body will end up where theirs are now. Still, how will my final days look? I don't know. Am I in my final days already? Again, I don't know.
For now, I accept the fact that I am really messed up. I am not out to harm anyone, but I am out trying to figure out my place in the world. Others may already know their place. Others may not realize that they will have to figure out their place one day. Right now, I am in what I call the range of retirement. At any day in this period, if I feel that I am financially okay for the rest of my life, I can throw in the towel and walk away from being a teacher. Right now, I am not yet ready to throw in the towel. At age 70, however, I will have to throw it in whether I am ready or not. By then, I hope to know my place in this world.
Until then, I will just have to deal with the fact that I am just confused, messed up, unwired.......You get the point.