I turn 28 years old.
Another Year on the Run – Vagabond Turns 28 years old:
“How old are you this year?” Chaya’s mother asked me.
I had to do the math.
There comes a point in anyone’s life where birthdays really do not matter anymore. As I turn the key to end my 28th year, I feel as if I am looking over the same uniform plain. I feel as if I have crossed the threshold of life where time is no longer measured in years, but decades.
I turned 28 years old on May 23.
“The only time you really live fully is from thirty to sixty. The young are slaves to dreams; the old servants of regrets. Only the middle-aged have all their five senses in the keeping of their wits,” Teddy Roosevelt once said.
I am now angling towards the mid section of living. I am now on top of the wave that I will ride to my ending shore — and I like where everything is going.
But I must I note here for any further temporal references: this was the first birthday that I did not wake up jumping excited for.
I think this must indicate that I am all grown up, or some other such nonsense.
28 is the same as 27 is the same as 29 and on and on until you croak.
With a tongue stuck in my cheek, I must proclaim that the days of birthday excitement are perhaps over for this vagabond — he is now a friggin’ procreating a-dult.
Something weird is going on.
Though at least I am still privy to birthday parties:
On the Trenton coast of Maine across from Arcadia, I had a regular ol’ birthday party with Chaya’s family.
It was a grown up affair, through one that I packed deep down into some inner pocket of feeling: Chaya’s family really likes me and seem to be happy that I am joining their clan.
These people truly are some odd characters.
I write a travelogue entry each year on my birthday as sort of a yearly status report. For my last two birthdays, I wrote about the exciting prospects of becoming a MAN, of feeling at ease in the traveling life, and of finding the initial glimmers of what I am looking for.
For this birthday, I must record the onset of carpal tunnel syndrome in my left wrist.
I suppose I am now on the inside track of becoming a MAN: aches, pains, wife, kid, I now have it all.
Perhaps this is not the fruition of the romance of aging that I saw coming last year:
“Through growing up and getting “old,” I have learned how to smile,” I wrote.
Perhaps this year I am leaning towards the mantra that my father sings every year on his birthday:
“Getting old sucks.”
I am on the inside of this journey now — I know what I doing, where I am going. I have grown use to my own surprises. The roof has now been laid upon the hut, and I moved right in.
I grumble, but, as is so often the case, my grumblings are for the purpose of shining light on a phenomenon that I am satisfied with.
Another year went by, another year on the run.
I am still smiling.
I jest, but I really look forward to each birthday and of filing away the additional trials, experiences, and wisdom of another year of wandering — another year of living the life Romantic.
Each birthday is a bookmark on the journey towards learning a little bit more about myself and the world around me.
With each tick off of the birthday clock, I know that I am progressing further down The Road, and I’m ever becoming more equipped to keep going.
Birthdays are signposts of achievement for travelers — as travel is ultimately about one thing: the acquisition of knowledge in relation to time and space.
Woodblock print of Wade by Justin Catania
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