Half a lifetime ago

That photo was taken 20.5 years ago - half a lifetime ago. It was for my student photo ID - I was registering for my final year in Electrotechnology at Dawson College.

How does it feel to be 41? How does it feel to be in my 5th decade of life?

To be honest, no differently from what it felt like to be 40, or 30, or 20. I do not notice the years. In my heart, the years do not pass, yet, when I look in the mirror, I see a stranger - an older, heavier, tired man who bears some semblance to myself. I find it hard to perceive myself with my inner eye as older than 16 - even 12 or 13 are comfortable ages for me. But, my body does not agree with me and reminds me more and more of my age. My years of knowledge, experiences and encounters dull my enthusiasm and temper my optimism with realism (and perhaps cynicism).

I wonder if there is any significance of the conjunction of the Chinese New Year of the Boar and my birthday this year?

Photo credits: Richard of Forbidden Planet.

Comments

Hey, Richard..Happy B-day!
Well, I don't feel I'm my age either but you know my body has disagreed quite often. I do look similar to those cheerleading oics when I was 16!

(Nice pic of you... with your whole life ahead of you! Ever wish you could rewind the tape to this point? What would you do differently?)
Barbara said…
What a serious innocent young face. Twenty years including marriage and raising children is enough to replace the innocence with wisdom. Here's to your next 20 years! Happy birthday.
Richard said…
MOI: what have I learned? Never wait. Don't wait until you have more experience. Don't wait until you know more. Don't wait until you are a little bit older. Don't wait for somebody to recognize you. I have had a good life, not much pain or suffering. I have steadily progressed. I have achieved, what for many would be, an enviable position and status. However, I feel I spent too much time waiting for the right moment, too much time coasting. Now, to some degree, I am trapped by my circumstances.

barbara: I am less serious than I was 20 years ago. A common comment from people who knew me back then is that I have mellowed.
KayMac said…
Happy Birthday!
Did kids mellow you? They did with my older, much-more-serious high school science teacher sister! Or does life just slow down and you figure, what's the rush? Where am I going with all this anyway? Just enjoy?
ghee said…
oh yes,Happy Bday Richard!!

Look at that pic,you were such an innocent but hot dude huh!

but you also look like Nino ;)
Enjoy this day,am I late?
b said…
Happy Birthday (belated), Richard. There is an interesting paradox about getting older. Being "older and wiser" comes with its price...that realism (yes, cynicism too!) and a certain heaviness. I don't know about you though, but I never find myself desiring to be younger because part of youth comes with learning hard lessons.

I hope you had a wonderful birthday. Sorry I was not online yesterday to wish you a happy birthday then. Hope that this year brings you much happiness!
vina said…
happy birthday richard!

you are quite right. never wait. always seize the moment, for it might never pass again.

i have never enjoyed my life much when i was younger. when i turned 30 last year, i realized that life is too short to be too careful and too cautious. my life, as i want it, is just beginning to unfold now, and so far, so good. :)
Happy happy bird day!

Wow - I must say that's a really adorable pic! Hhahaa.... I was grinning when I saw that photo of yours!

Are those curls natural?

So what are your plans for the next 20 years?
Richard said…
kaymac: thank you

MOI: Sofia is what mellowed me.

ghee: thanks. I don't get the reference to nino though (I know it means Godfather in Tagalog).

breal: I never desired to be anything other than who I was until a few years ago. Now I do wish I could be younger - reset my age 25 years and I will be a happy camper. I think this comes as a result of recognizing my own mortality. As long as we feel immortal, what matter is our age?

vina: thank you. While we should not be overly careful and cautious, neither should we be careless and irresponsible. I think we should never defer what has no moral consequence. I hope you find happiness in your life.

elvina: yes, those curls are natural. Every part of me (aside from the fillings in my teeth) is natural.

My plans for the next 20 years are to try and live my dreams more and worry less about being successful. But that is a very, very hard thing to do. I definitely need to learn how to sell (or hook up with someone who is a natural born seller / promoter).
Coffee fairy said…
Hey, better late than never -- Happy Birthday Richard! I wish you more blessings.

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