December 27, 2014
in which I had an epiphany about youth and age*
We were in New Zealand. I don’t remember the exact occasion with certainty. I think we were walking along the perimeter of Lake Taupo. It was a little cold and windy, and Charu was complaining that the lake was nothing spectacular, very similar to other lakes in the U.S. Or it might have been some other time. But it was definitely in New Zealand.
I offered the somewhat pedestrian philosophy that this is probably the one and only time in our lives that we will be here, and that we should appreciate the view since we will never see it again. And then it hit me. Isn’t all of life like that? Every moment that we have is unique, never to return. I may do the same routine tasks, but every day is different. I will be 32 years, 7 months and 19 days old only and exactly once when doing it.
I know that this sounds cliche too, but it’s not the philosophy that’s important here; it’s when it strikes you personally. It’s when you realize at a deeper level how short life truly is, and how you don’t want it to run past you. It’s when you want to make every moment matter, make every day exceptional, live and feel every second of it.
I later had a second epiphany on the same trip. It’s not that I am chasing my own youth. I don’t really want to be 22 again. Or rather, I don’t want the uncertainties of youth - figuring out my career, being broke, finding a soul mate**…I just want some of the carefree-ness, the lack of responsibility, the hindsight knowledge of having 10 more years. And also the lack of random aches in my knees.
In reality, my life is pretty great today. I just want it to stay like this forever. I just want time to freeze. I want this moment again. And again.
*I originally wrote this at 1 am during our one night stay at Knobs Flat, middle of nowhere, NZ. I finally edited and published this post at 1 am a couple of weeks later. 1 am seems to be a creative time :)
**Not that those uncertainties actually bothered me when I was 22. So they are more like uncertainties in hindsight. Sigh!