On June 27 I was sitting in one of my favorite restaurants with a plate of sliders, a glass or Prosecco and a Spanish red for after, because sparkling wine will not do for even tiny burgers.
At 8:12 p.m. I toasted with the Prosecco, er, with myself, and sat back in my seat and sort of wondered what would come next.
The universe laughs at our milestones, I'm pretty sure. What they mean to you is what they mean, and so the world keeps turning.
This particular moment meant that I had exactly six months left in the fourth decade of my life. I'd be 39 for less than six more months from that point on and while I'm not sure why it's such a big deal to me, it kind of is.
I don't want to freak out about it. I don't want to pointlessly obsess about the passing of time, of what I've done and haven't. I've had gray hair since I was 21 and I've never had supermodel looks to lose so it's stupid to dwell on those benchmarks too.
I just want it to be a good, productive time. I want to mark it and acknowledge that it means something to me without having a stupid breakdown. I want to be really chill and thoughtful about what comes next. I want the next chapter to make sense -- to make the story better than it's been for awhile. I don't know how to accomplish this exactly. No burning bush erupted in that restaurant. Nobody popped out from behind a door with roses and a map to the next 40 years.
But at 8:14 Bob Marley started singing "Redemption Song" through the speakers in that place. And whereas I don't claim to relate to actual slavery, and the subject matter is pretty weighty, it's always been one of my favorite songs. And just like I failed at being an English major because I believe there are as many ways to analyze a story as there are people who can read it, so is the same true for songs./p>
I liked that it was the first one I heard in this second half of the last year in what has been a really strange period in my life. I don't know if it means anything exactly. Signs are tricky and often have little bearing on my outcomes. But it is very true, and pardon me jacking Bob's vernacular here, that none but ourselves can free our minds. And in spite of all of the wacko goals I can construct for myself and run around like an overcaffeinated lunatic trying to achieve, mental slavery emancipation is not a bad place to start, especially at 39 and a half.