Picture: Still fromEmpire Strikes Back, courtesy Google Images
Lately I’ve started to really listen to the words that are coming out of my mouth and along with way too much self-doubt is a lot of ‘back in the day’ type shit. I think self-doubt is part of the human condition and can be combatted by simply recognizing it’s happening and nipping it in the bud straight-away (easier said than done of course), same with constantly looking backwards at life rather than forwards. I love going down ‘memory lane’: listening to music that transports you to a specific time period in your life (hello Nirvana and Pearl Jam of my highschool years), tv shows that remind you of sitting as a family in front of the tube (Cosby show and Masterpiece theater anyone), and food that reminds you of coming home from school on a rainy dreary day, finishing up all of your homework before dinner then enjoying homemade spaghetti and bread…I just salivated a little with that one. None of this is bad, but you just don’t want to freeze in time like Han Solo inEmpire Strikes Back(my favorite Star Wars movie!) Enter the late Dick Clark who said the following in an interivew:The moment you mentally atrophy and freeze in time you are old.This simple phrase is so monumental, which is why I take great pains to celebrate the past but also get over any issues I might have with the forward motion of the universe. I mean I used to be anti-Facebook, anti-blog, basically anything anti-internet because I didn’t want potential employers or just random folk to have access to my information but now I’m no longer standing on the outskirts of the playground acting superior I’m in the thick of it and guess what, I like it! I was pseudo-fearful of the lack of control anyone has in an online environment where things can be submerged but never erased, thank God I have no plans for a political career! The turning point for me as a beginning writer was realizing the opportunities to publish are more if I choose to widen the net of options. I will take that Dick Clark quote with me for the rest of my life and adopt it as my own. As I age, my body will begin to change (shoot, it already has!) and yes I’ll look like myself but different but if I’m blessed my mind will stay sharp and I’ll engage in the world around me to keep it so…that to me is the key to growing old OR rather growing ‘up’ gracefully.