Wednesday, October 27, 2010

When did I get old?

Its funny the things that remind us of our age, and how much we have aged. Being at the ripe age of 33, many friends have shared stories of finding their first gray hair, or possibly the first signs of a wrinkle forming. Maybe a mysterious few pounds that seemed to form over night and won't budge. Or a few slips of the mind resulting in misplacing an important file or missing a dentist appointment.

All of the above, minus the first (knock on wood) have happened to me. I try to take these things in stride, as its simply life. Its simply getting older. It happens to everyone.

But then tonight I was working on a piece for our local newspaper, one that discusses popular and current cartoon characters. Now, it was my turn to draw a blank. Other than Curious George or Lightning McQueen, I could not think of ONE current cartoon character that somone under the age of 10 would be familiar with. My list included Garfield, Odie and Papa Smurf, and yet I can't remember the last time I have seen these childhood characters on TV or ever heard my 3-year old nephew talk about them. I am officially out of touch with what the youngsters of today know about. In their terms, I am old. Or at least my knowledge of things they care about is.

When the Today's show ran a special this week on 'Back to the Future' turning 25 years, it caught my attention. I remember when the movie came out in 1985. I was 8, and went to see it three times in the theater. I owned the soundtrack on cassette (!). I would sing along with the lyrics that boomed from my cotton-candy pink ghetto blaster. Today, I dont even own a cassette player or have a music player that is larger than my hand. (Thanks, Apple.) Technology has changed with the times, although I am not sure if anyone ever developed the flux-capacitor or whatever the crazy scientist created in the movie.

So much has changed in 25 years. I have changed so much in 25 years.

Then I was curious as to what I would be when I grow up. Now, while I still ask the same question, I am well into my career, I have lived in three major cities, traveled to over 10 countries by myself, and bought a brand new car with my own money. I am grown, and still growing. And yet, I have to wonder if I am still growing up? Or simply growing old? Or is 'old' simply a relative term to explain the difference between to two things?

At the scholarship foundation, where I am the director, I am surrounded by young people, and that is what they seem to me - young, and dreaming, a bit naive, but ultimately young. I know 15 years ago when I came to the same office as a scholarship hopeful, I looked just like them. Same age, same dreams, same hopes about tomorrow. And yet, now when they see me they see a woman, not a girl. I am older in my appearance, and my demeanor... and they probably put me somewhere close to their mother's age. Scary thought.

Its crazy how time trickles by. When we least expect it, our age is thrown at us, reminding us of our time spent here on Earth.

In the end, we all get older, and we all grow up. Tomorrow's generation will see today's generation as older, and eventually old. And the same for generations after that. I never really thought of it that way as I have always felt extremely youthful. While a simple search for current cartoon characters won't change my outlook on life, it does remind me that I am not the young whipper-snapper I used to be, and I know one day before I am ready someone (probably Ramsey) will refer to me as old. And in comparison to him, he will be right.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Shaking it Up

I've always been a firm believer that the only obstacle in our lives is the way we think about things. If you think you are short, you are. If you think you will never get your dream job, you won't. And if you think its impossible to get moving before 6AM, most likely, for you it will be.

When it comes to life and how to live it, I think we should all take a lesson from the bumblebee. As science would tell you, an insect so fat with such tiny wings can never get off the ground and fly. And yet it seems someone forgot to tell the bumblebee, for it sure gets around on those tiny wings!

Our outlook makes or breaks us in terms of getting what we want.

In the past 6 months, I find myself continuously putting off the things I want to do most. I have my set routine each morning, with the gym and getting ready and getting to the office. In the evenings I let my life be as chaotic as it wishes with no set plans, other than my Tuesday night Spanish classes Jay and I are taking at Kennesaw. And yet, the one thing I want to do more than anything, is spend more time putting thoughts down on paper/screen. I love writing. I love telling my story. I love fitting words together so that the simpliest of ideas come to life in such a vibrant concoction.

Since my foray into a writers life that began in Spring 2009, I have not done as much as I wanted with this passion. I got sidetracked and way-layed with multiple moves, new jobs, significant others and all the other things that have filled my life the past six months. I made excuses, put things off, and told myself there wasn't the time.

The only thing that really happened was my dreams of writing have not happened. So its time to put them into action, its time to believe I can fly and I can do what I truly want. Its time to believe a little more like the bumblebee, and ignore timelines and deadlines and the pressures of the day to day that can get in the way of any dream imaginable.

So my morning routine, is getting a facelift. (or actually I will probably need one once I start waking up at 5AM for days on end). I am now awake at 5AM every day, hitting the gym to deal with my nervous energy, and then I have an hour to write and see what happens when words really do start fitting together.

For so long, I held onto this notion that the only place I could write was Spain. I loved the writers life I lived there, waking up and running first thing, showering and then writing at the cafe and then going about my day.

Well, here, its no different. I still have a story to tell, and there is no time like the present to tell it.