Growth

Growing is hard. I don't know when I became an adult, but I do know it wasn't until I graduated university that I started realizing that I had to be one. To this day I have no idea how successful I have been, but I do know at some point in the past 36 years I started taking better care and that I believe is where adulthood resides.

Every day I bare witness to actual growth - physical, mental and emotional. Having a preschooler and infant means that every single day that I am with them I get to revel in the joys and challenges that come from them growing up. My daughter's continued loss of innocence as she realizes more and more every day that life here on this earth is finite. My son's maturation into becoming an individual person instead of the helpless life form he was when he entered this world. The growth of new teeth, the discovery of walking, the ability to write new letters and numbers, the practice in drawing new things, the learning of what different animals eat, the questioning and decision making of what things she wants to eat - due to flavour or conscience. These are just some of the examples of growth that are happening right now around me everyday. It both freaks me out but brings me great joy.

Still as I watch them discover and experience things for the first time, I'm realizing more and more all the things I've experienced or will soon experience for the last time. Or quite possibly the things I'll likely never experience at this point. I know, I know. It's never too late for anything. But as years go by you come to realize the dreams you had ten years ago are no longer the dreams the you have today, and will likely never be your dreams again.

My oldest brother just turned 40 this year. My second oldest brother is turning 39 on Tuesday. There's a beautiful interview of Keanu shortly after he turned 39 and it is a beautiful and articulate example of what happens in that 'mid-life crisis' that so often comes with the age. I appreciate how he keeps referring to the birthday as a 'contemplative' one. We all know what's happening. He's turning 40 and is realizing all that he has done, gone through, succeeded at - and all the things he hasn't. It's sobering for all of us. As he says - it's about mortality!


I love that Keanu is so mindful and has always taken the time to be alone with his own thoughts. Even though it often seems like he doesn't age, in many ways it seems like he's always been an old soul. He has this great balance of childlike fun (just watch him talk about the fight scenes in John Wick) and contemplative maturity.

There have been subsequent interviews with him talking about that time in his life with embarassment. 

I had the classic 40 meltdown, I did. It's embarassing. It was pretty funny. But then I recovered. To me, it was like a second adolescence. Hormonally, my body was changing, my mind was changing, and so my relationship to myself and the world around me came to this assault of finiteness.
It was also the end of the projection of my younger self. I came to the place where I thought, 'I don't know where I am anymore but where have I come from and what am I doing?

I think these thoughts are very relatable right now. I am very proud of the growth I have grown through. I'm prouder still of the growth my children go through every day. But I still have these existential moments.

What's next? I don't know. But I look to Keanu and remember that he was 50 when John Wick came out. It was one of the more joyful times in his life. If I recall, that's also around the time he met his now partner Alexandra Grant. It was also the beginning of an incredible and beloved franchise that only continued to challenge and improve on his existing skills and create new ones. What can be more motivational than that.

I still have a lot of growing to do, but I do look forward to every moment of it. I miss the past and to love remembering my younger days when there was still so much new in front of me. While it does feel like my firsts are coming to an end, I am remembering that my big new right now is watching other people discover their firsts for the first time. Even to anyone without kids - the same is true. It's amazing to see a younger generation discover things for the first time. But with my kids I have the added benefit of being their memory of a lot of those moments - a responsibility I do not take lightly.

So bring it on - late 30s! I'm ready for you. Maybe not John Wick ready. Probably more like Sweet November ready. I'm ready for my transformation. I'll kick life's butt in a decade or so!

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