Today is my 46th birthday. For a long time I’ve tried to, essentially, disguise my age: I worked with people much younger than I; the lines in my face were, I felt, indicative of someone who is out of touch; I worried about appearing as a dinosaur, both professionally and socially.
So, instead of trying to pretend I’m someone I used to be, I got a very short haircut (a #3 for those of you keeping track at home) and am easing myself into embracing the inevitable: that if you have lived this long you are going to have to let go of certain things. Don’t get me wrong: I still love my guitar and will pick it up any time I hear ‘Brown Sugar’ or ‘Free Bird‘ (if I feel like playing for that long); I have been lucky enough to have worn t-shirts and jeans for the majority of my career; and most people are surprised when I tell them that, no, I’m not 38.
But I have been questioning my “purpose”. Where have I been? Where am I going? How long have I got? (yes, fans, that’s lifted from ‘Blade Runner‘ and for good reason. If you haven’t watched it I highly recommend you see it at least twice.)
Thus far I’ve tried to be a “Buddhist blogger”, one where people will land when they search for relevant information. Admittedly, I’ve not been very persistent — or consistent — in updating my blog, mostly because the way I live my life is more often far from a life that adheres to Buddhist tenets than I’d like. In my own defense, I am mindful of the Four Noble Truths and the Eightfold Path as I navigate what tends to be a tedious and uncertain day-to-day existence. But I sometimes feel like a hypocrite when I experience thoughts and feelings that are counter to the Path I’ve chosen.
It’s not as simple as sitting on a zafu with eyes half closed.
I began this blog at the cusp of a ridiculously long period of unemployment while trying to raise two small children; I am again in that same position, now three years later, and I’m trying to look at this as more of an opportunity rather than a hindrance. In other words: perhaps now that I’m not working for a small salary that barely pays the bills, and coming home feeling empty and useless, I’m attempting to adopt the position that this is a chance for me to really think about what I can give back instead of just working for a paycheck.
Let me restate that today I’m 46. My previous statement sounds like something the 15 year old I was might have said. So I guess I’ve known all along what I really wanted to do.