I feel displaced.
A pair of the most formerly party-hearty friends that I frequented a decade ago, just had their first child.
In fact, most of my friends from a decade ago have had children. Plural. This isn’t new.
…I can say “a decade ago” and not have that feel abstract.
Because I remember most of what I was doing, as a fledgling adult.
I was free to make my own decisions, to live independently, to have fun with my friends. It was exciting.
Now that I’m well into the third year of my thirties, this freedom has changed in its nature. I didn’t see it happen. It was a gradual, insidious change, as subtle as the first hints of autumn. A crispness below the endless sunshine.
This freedom, once exhilarating, is now twinged with bitterness, just like the faint scratches pulling at the corner of my eyes.
I feel old.
Like I have somehow missed the boat towards a direction that everyone else implicitly understands, and I am left standing on the shore while the Arc sails away from my grasp. My future is this island where I am left only to my meandering anxieties and small occupations; the only distractions left to comfort me in the wake of a childhood full of naive hopes long since extinguished. And I stand helpless, as the gap between myself and the comforting certainties of Life inevitably widens, carrying away all the others I have encountered to the other side. They sail away happy; certain. Full.
I feel alone.
There is no comfort for an aimless thirtysomething like me.
No time left to “Figure It Out”, as they’d all promised I would.
Another false hope.
Another wrong path.
There is no sympathy for us lost adults.
The encompassing uncertainty that inhabits me is no longer the endearing hesitation of your twenties, it’s the off-putting disappointment of missed opportunities.
Others don’t know what to say. They do their best, waving from their boat as they can. They smile and wave, because the truth is too difficult to discuss or deny.
I am surpassed. I am lost.
I am too late.
Left marooned on the shore of my pretty little island, filled with frivolous occupations… I am too late to go somewhere greater.