I just can’t understand this outlook.
The older I get, the more I realize that the crappy part of aging is not the weird physical pains, the wrinkles, or the receding hairlines but the slow process of realizing that none of the things you wanted to do with your life are actually going to happen. It’s that moment when you look at your surroundings and realize, This is it for me. This is as far as I’m going to get. You look at the goals you had and the things you wanted to do and you realize that not only are they unlikely to happen, but they’re unlikely to happen because you aren’t good enough to accomplish them.
I like the site, but frankly I find this sort of view and approach to life idiotic.
Perhaps it only applies to people who when young (in academia, in the writer’s case) thought they were going to be stars in their field?
Being a star in any field is as much serendipity as it is skill and dedication. If you go through life expecting to be a star, you will always, always be disappointed.
My life is a fucking gift; I grew up poor in the sticks of Florida. I thought by the time I was 30 I’d either be dead or in jail. If my 15-year-old self could see me now, he’d be awed and impressed I think – by the things I have done and by who I am.
I love my current life and I make it better all the time. I work at it. I have an ensorcelling, unbelievably lovely, vibrantly intelligent and questing partner. I have few friends, but one close one who is one of the most clever, loyal and interesting people I’ve ever met. She is the bee’s knees.
I’ve been to interesting places. I’ve done things few people have done. I’ve consorted with fascinating and beautiful women, all of whom were supposedly “out of my league,” but shit, I have my own league and have never had any problems finding teammates to play in it.
I’ve learned about what I’ve desired to learn about. I’ve explored and been awed by nature and the universe; I’ve seen and done things few people get to see and do. And I plan to keep doing so until the day I die.
As I said, my life is a gift. Every day that I get to do the things I want to do, to read the books I want to read, and to spend time with my partner – a great day. I’m so very lucky and I know it, and when I read something like the above I really savor it. I hold onto it and realize what I have and how far I’ve come.
However, if I spent all my time whining about how I wasn’t a star yet, and might never be, then I imagine my life would indeed seem pretty miserable, and going downhill as I got older.
I’ll take my quiet, wonderful life with time for what I want to do, not the one worrying about external expectations and my status or not as a star in some field or other that in reality few others care or know about.
But that’s just me.