By Guy Chapman – Navarro County Gazette

Yes We Can

As I add another year to my personal middle age this week, I’ve come to the realization this process is irreversible and there is no escape from this age train. 

From “then to now” has been an interesting journey, one that started with a feeling of directionless toward an uncertain future, to a point where things have kind of stabilized out these days. I can at the very least say there’s stable footing again. At least for myself.

What have I learned from my 45th journey around the sun?

I’ve learned to better embrace my Generation X nature, where I now begun to question more things where my younger self would have scoffed at those ideas. Perhaps I was too cynical for my own generation’s preset level of cynicism. 19-year old me would probably roll his eyes at this.

I’ve learned my best role right now is writing about the world around me, namely the work featured here. I have to remind others, remind myself, there is still a normal world out there despite all of the changes. Writing requires me to pay more attention to detail, look for issues, and the best solution to try and solve them. Sometimes stories come my way, other times I have to find them. Or I just simply ask.

I’ve felt a lot more present in this last year. More aware of things. I’ve had to be more aware of changes, the weird things. I’ve always been one to ride with the moment, and now I prepare more for it.

I’ve greyed more, hair-wise. I’ve received the “comic book hero” jokes of “Mister Fantastic” for my greying sides, or “Rogue” for the white streak down the middle of my hair. I haven’t decided if I want to return to my original color, or actually try to ride this particular moment.

I’ve thought a lot more about mortality, a real first for me. This summer sped those thoughts up, what with a concussion and a brown recluse bite (recovered from both, neither were my favorite). The last year and a half where things have changed so much has weighed heavily on me. It’s been impossible to look past, and it’s tiring at times. I’ve thought a lot about all the things I’ve still yet to do, and all the things I need to.

I think that’s been my biggest takeaway: All the things I need to do. I’ve been more involved than ever in projects, trying to document and record everything I can. There’s a feeling of preparation of trying to decide what to do next. I’ve found my current purpose. I don’t know if it will be my “forever” purpose, but my goals are good for now.

I’m not a fan of getting older. I never really saw myself as such. But perhaps with the all the things happening of late, I’ll forget to notice it happening.

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