2.06.2010

Perspective.

It always helps to step back from things sometimes to see them in a different light. Sometimes you need the perspective of others. I certainly appreciate yesterday's feedback, which confirmed my own instinct that I wasn't obligated to acknowledge the upcoming “holiday” with my new distant female friend. I think even Lyndon's suggestion of sending a V-Day message that I hope she's spending it with someone she loves might come across as bitter or snarky, even if I meant it sincerely. So I'm not giving it another thought.

I think, in some part of my mind, I am starting to see that I'm not a kid anymore, despite the childish surroundings in the room where I've spent over 35 years of my life. Part of my hesitation with this girl, aside from the geographical distance, was that she was 3 years older than me and a lot closer to 40. I didn't have a problem dating a slightly older woman when I was in my 20s, but now the biological clock becomes a factor. I do want children, at the very least a son to carry on my family name, but I'm not ready yet, emotionally or financially. More importantly, and perhaps selfishly, I'd want a year or two with a new wife in which it was just the two of us getting to know one another, and that's not even factoring how long we'd be dating before making the decision to take that next step. Let's say I'd need about a year, and now we're talking three or more years before trying to have kids, which is three years we might not be able to afford, biologically speaking. Ideally, at this point in my life, I'd need someone my age or a little bit younger, but I'm not getting any younger either. I had two very interesting reminders of that fact this week:

1) She-Hulk just turned 30. Growing up, I always had this sense that all my favorite fictitious characters had always been around. Even those created as far back as the 1930s were, to my juvenile perspective, omnipresent. I couldn't grasp the concept of decades before I lived through a few myself. So it is kind of sobering to learn that there's at least one iconic comic book heroine out there who was created after I was born. I'm older than Jennifer Walters. Yikes.

2) A friend of mine who works as an art professor asked me if I'd be willing to help one of her students by answering questions about my career. My natural instinct is always to pass on knowledge to the next generation, when it probably should be to discourage them so I'm not facing competition who will take my jobs for less money. I kid, because hopefully I'll be in a higher position by that point and I'll actually want capable people doing the hand's-on work that I do now. She had recently tried to do me a favor too, so I was more than happy to help out. I agreed, and the student sent me a very formal and polite e-mail, in which she addressed me as “Mr. ____”. Now that was absolutely the correct and proper way to address me, and I wouldn't want to be called by my first name, but seeing “Mr.” in print definitely drove home the point that I'm an old professional guy in the field. I still remember when I was young student looking up to “old” professionals. That was only 14 years ago. When did I become someone I would have written to as a student myself? Where does the time go?

It's not all bad, though. You can't fight time, or change. It's all part of our growth, and it goes smoother if we don't fight it. I watched an absurdly good two-hour Smallville episode on Friday night in which the heroes from the Golden Age emerge to team up with the fledgling heroes of the Silver Age, as the heroes of old are being killed off one-by-one by a b-list villain with a grudge. These were some of the characters who inspired Watchmen, so it was only fitting that the episode had a similar vibe about the changing of the guard and the dawn of a new era. Smallville being Smallville, there were a few corny lines and some subpar acting, but for the most part it was one of the more epic and visually stunning episodes of the series. It was about endings and beginnings, about the experience of the past and the hope for the future. I've stuck with that show through good and repetitious and bad and worse and WTF and better and bad again and better and better and holy crap when did this get good again. It's been an interesting journey.

You know, I think I'm starting to get some perspective on where those years have gone...

1 Comments:

Blogger Kev said...

A comment on your line about having children "I'm not ready yet". If you wait until you are ready (or can afford it), it will never happen. You'll continue to think "not just yet, I need to this or that fist - then I'll have kids." Then you'll be 75 years old wondering where the time went.

2/06/2010 5:25 AM  

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