And even as the world of 2020 falls down around me, slowly ebbing away at the precarious stability of our society until it reaches some impossible crescendo of plagues, social unrest, controversial politics, and other unlikely coincidences, I plod along with my usual worries and plans.
America is burning around us. Much of the justification is flawed, and many of the instigators are being sheltered from criticism by a litany of voices and spurious reasoning. And our institutions which are supposed to protect us from misinformation leading to this, are merely fanning the flames.
On the cusp of my 41st birthday, it’s inevitable that a certain amount of melancholy or nostalgic regret seizes my attention. At least, that’s the cold and clinical way I’d normally frame it, given my disposition. In reality, being 40 wasn’t so bad. My life is decidedly not perfect, but perfect is the enemy of good.
It’s hard not to consider though, the path that led me here.
It’s only now, in a fever born of a withering cascade of chronic insomnia, I can look back upon what I am and how I came to be. Always anxious and unsure, contemplative and melancholic.
There’s a bit of loneliness in the world, I think.
But not the kind we’ve all come to recognize. Not the feeling that we are alone, unknowable, or otherwise separated from our peers. It’s something I never expected to encounter, and yet that’s exactly what makes it so penetrating. It’s a kind of emotional nostalgia, and the realization that the novelty of life itself is fleeting. I used to wonder what adults thought to themselves as they watched us play and grow, forever discovering, always surprised and delighted or perturbed. Now that it’s been about 20 years since I graduated from high school, I think I know.