I’ve got about 16 hours of my thirties left and that seems rather momentous to me. I can clearly remember my friends and coworkers in the Santa Monica office throwing me a little party ten years ago as I forever left my twenties behind. And here I am on the cusp of doing the same for my thirties.
Looking back over the first forty years, I note two things that really jump out at me. First, how quickly it has all gone by. In many ways it really goes feel like a blink. Time and memory are funny things. Their very abstractness leads to absurdity. I can, for instance, recall certain moments of my life from when I was seven or eight years old with photographic clarity and they feel as if they just took place. Like it was yesterday. There is a feeling you get with increased age, a kind of clarity that you are ever more rapidly approaching some dark event. I often think of it as a movie you love to watch. Watching it that first time is incredible, you are lost in it, notice no passing of time whatsoever. You realize, sitting there in the dark, that you don’t want the movie to end, and you find yourself glancing at the time to see how much more before the credits start to roll. And when the credits do start to roll, you sit there in awe of how quickly the time had passed.
Second, I find it difficult to believe that I’ve actually been around for forty years. I think that our self-image is a kind of aggregation of everything that came before, and the vast bulk of what came before is a much younger you. We therefore tend to think of ourselves as being forever young and that is certainly the case with me. I don’t feel like an imminent quadragenarian.
In truth, nothing really changes tomorrow when I turn forty. It is like any other birthday, or any other day for that matter, since birthday’s are really just arbitrary milestones we use to mark the passage of our years. Tomorrow, I will be no different than today, just a day older. The movie continues, with its twists and turns, and I keep watching, one eye on the clock, the other looking for who done it.