In 20 years from now I’ll be 53 years old. I wonder how much different things will be then they are now… and how… when I look back at the 20 years that has passed between now and then… how will I remember it?
20 years ago I was 13 years old. I feel like those early years stand out a little more… maybe because we had grade school to help us remember the chunks. I can remember my first kiss (attempt) in 7th grade and the gang I was the leader of in the 3rd grade and the gang that came after me in grade 6. High School is one big chunk but I remember going from small to tall as a junior and breakdancing as a freshman and driving as a senior. The fact that you were in a “grade” – when remembering things – definitely helps.
But then you’re out of school and while you have the “college” era, you’ve started drinking by then and the years pass faster and you’re kind of an adult now so the changes aren’t as drastic. You’ve already gotten your driver’s license… moved out of your parents house… lost your virginity… the milestones have been conquered and life begins to roll. Then soon you’re 30 and looking back at your 20′s, 24 and 27 feel like they were kinda the same and oh yeah even 29 too. Then you hit mid-thirties and realize that even year #30 – as CRAZY as it felt when it was approaching – was no different than 29… because you had no virginity to lose and you’d already had many beers and you knew how to drive and you even had a career.
So then, you look back, and you chunk it up in loves. There was the “(insert your ex’s name here) era” and the “this person” era and the “that person” era and you might have switched jobs and friends along the way but hey, you were still drinking so it’s gonna blend together a little bit but hopefully you changed cities or chopped your hair off or did SOMETHING to remember the difference between 28 and 31 in your mind. But probably not.
That’s ok though. The memories are still in there, albeit a little mixed up. But I wonder if when I’m 53 it’ll ALL be one big ball of memories… drinking and sex and love and jobs and cities and hair cuts and hugs. There will probably be an, “I got married”, and an “I had a kid!” year or 2 in there to help at least a FEW of the years stand out. Then maybe my kid will go to grade school… if kids even go off to real schools and not just stay home and learn on the the internet when that day finally happens. And I’ll be able to remember their kindergarten year and their first prom and giving them the keys to my car and helping them finally move their stuff out of my house. Then they’ll be gone and it’ll start meshing together again… year 69 will look like 72 and I won’t remember which year I had my first beer and all I’ll remember about my first kiss was it was sometime in grade school.
But I’ll still remember smelling my clothes afterwards and her sweet perfume on them and that crazy high feeling that wouldn’t go away. And while the parties will blend together I’ll remember what it felt like on those nights with my friends and giving high fives and the time my Volvo started rolling down the driveway with no one in it and I had to sprint and jump in and pull the E-brake. That first broken heart and first real love and flashes of cities lived in and jobs had. You can’t pick exactly what you’re going to remember. Grade school is long gone and the year numbers themselves – the one it says on the calendar or your even own age year – just aren’t enough to stand out on their own. You can’t remember what you did in 2003 vs 2002 so all you can do is push harder, harder and harder to make your current blur as awesome as you can. There will be peaks you remember and lows you forget. But it’ll all balance out in the end. And when you look back… 20 years from now… and 20 years from then… you won’t exactly remember what you did 2022 and or at age 42. A few things you’ll remember, but most you’ll forget. But you’ll always… always… always… have grade school.