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Once again I was unsure what to write about for this year's post, so I took the opportunity to once again crawl back through the archive of birthday posts. It's one of the big benefits of twenty years of blogging, it's easy to take a dive back into the past for insights. I missed a few years here and there (especially during the lean blogging years), but have been quite consistent recently. Notably, I've managed to keep a streak of these posts going since number 36 way back in 2014.

I look at that number: forty-four. And it feels impossible! How could I be that old? How could that many years have gone by already? I know I'm growing old because my knees and my back and my neck like to remind every so often, but at the same time I also feel like I'm still the same person I was twenty, thirty years ago maybe.

Growing old makes time and memory weird. When you're young, every year feels significant; important and hefty, full of firsts and new experiences. As you grow older, each additional year feels like it weighs less and less. You've seen a lot of things, so a lot of things seem to be the same, and the years go by and they tend to all blend together into a big tangled soup of memory. Our memories are imperfect recollections, reruns that change with every viewing.

Being able to look back in time through this blog helps untangle that a soup of memory a bit.

I can be 43 and find my optimism about the world being challenged.. I can be 38 and feeling sagey and dispensing some 'wisdom'. I can be 37 and burned out and disappointed in people. I can be 31 and hopeful and ambitious, still dreaming of bigger things. I can be 29 and holed up through a supertyphoon, spending my first birthday outside the country. I can be 27 and very busy at work. I can be 24 and unemployed and not knowing what the future holds.

All different people, scattered through the river of time. All of them me. For what are we if not an accumulation of all our past selves?

Today I feel older and wiser and a bit weary of the world and just wanting to relax and not worry about things. But I still remember being all those younger versions: brash, optimistic, ambitious, hopeful, idealistic. I hope that future me's never give in to cynicism and never lose sight of those younger versions of me and that they continue to inform my path, moving forward, to whatever the future holds.

Tue, Aug. 9, 2022, 10:22 p.m. / / blog / #birthday / Syndicated: mastodon twitter / 443 words

Last modified at: Aug. 9, 2022, 10:31 p.m. Source file