Wednesday, October 3, 2012
A Few Blinks
A few weeks back, I received a Facebook friend request from somebody that I hadn't seen in roughly 15 years. We'd been close friends as teenagers and young adults, but our paths eventually diverged after I moved out of state. After reconnecting on line, we exchanged a couple of brief messages, but that was it. I'd love to sit down and hear about what the last decade and a half have been like for him, but it feels like something that has to be done in person.
Since that initial exchange, it has been interesting to read his posts and to see his picture. It's interesting to see how much of the young man that I knew is discernible in the middle aged man that I can see now, albeit through a limited lens. But it's not something that I'd given a ton of thought to. Until tonight.
When I logged on tonight, I noticed that today is his birthday, so I clicked on his name, thinking that I'd wish him a happy one. But I never got around to that. Instead, I started scrolling through his posts, looking mostly at his collection of memes, and then I clicked on his friends list. And it was there that I saw dozens of middle aged versions of young people that I'd once known. Some people that I'd been friends with. A couple of guys that used to push me around. A couple of gals that I'd had a crush on. And plenty more that aren't much more than a familiar name to me now.
But seeing them all gathered in that space, struck me. It took the process of aging/changing/growing/shifting, a process that I tend to think of as slow and gradual, and made it seem very quick and sudden. I was filled with the feeling that 38 years of life had gone by in a few blinks. And I don't mean that in a remorseful way. I'm more than happy with the way that most of that time has been spent. But right now, at this moment, it just feels like it's happening so fast.
Maybe that'll pass. Maybe it won't. Maybe I'll blink a few more times and be 76. Time appears to pass without any notice of my perceptions or preferences. But I notice time. And tonight I can't seem to notice much else.