Warning: Today is one of those “baring my inner demons” posts. You might want to skip it.
Today I am 45 years old.
I’m not sure how I feel about this. I mean, I know how I should feel. But I really don’t feel like that.
On the one hand, I don’t feel appreciably older than I did last month, or last year. On the other hand, people say things to me like “I want to celebrate you!” and I think “What’s to celebrate?” I’m 45, and the only really noteworthy thing I’ve done is be a dad to an amazing little girl. I’ve muddled my way through my life and I have damned little to show for it. No books or stories published, I make a middling wage with no real chance of it increasing much, and I live in fear that I’m actually a jerk people tolerate for some reason. (Please, friends, no jokes about this.)
I’ve survived a lot of hell, but what’s to celebrate about that? What else was I going to do? It’s not noble, it’s not special. Lots of people have survived worse.
I have lived twenty years longer than my mom, and 2 years longer than my dad. The fact they died young shouldn’t make me feel old, but it does.
Also, let’s face it. Nobody can tell me I’m not middle aged now. My grandfather lived to be 92. If I live that long, then I’m now halfway through my lifespan. I’m no longer of any real concern to the people who made decisions about the kinds of movies and shows I love. I am in an increasingly irrelevant demographic, and it’s probably just going to get worse.
I don’t want to be feeling like this on my damn birthday. But there it is. I know it’s temporary; I know I’ll feel better eventually. But this is me now.