I've read that you should never compare yourself to others. I've read it so many times that I've lost track of the authors who quote it and the books that claim its promise of happiness. Yet isn't it in our very nature to compare and contrast with our fellow humans? Some have lived lifetimes by the time they're 29, some are close to retirement, some haven't even made it this far. My body is torn between youth and age, vitality and verility, aches and pains. Coincidentally, I fell down the stairs in our apartment building a couple of days ago and can definately still feel it. More now than I would've ten years ago. I'm fine by the way, just a couple bruises and an angry elbow which has now ceased being angry.
Throughout my life, I have self imposed pressures. I wanted to be smart, skilled, talented, and most importantly indespensible. I am proud to say that I feel I have reasonably pursued the first three goals and continue to strive toward their beacons but what did I mean to be indispensable. Did I mean with my family? With my friends? With someone I would come to love? With a fan base? With my future peers and colleuges? With history? I am kind of baffeled at my younger self. What audacity. I mean everyone hopes to be indespensible and remembered but, wow.
If I am honest with myself, I have accomplished more than I ever thought I would. I met and married the love of my life (something I never thought would happen.) I finished a Master's Degree (something that even at 19 seemed unattainable.) I've performed professionally, written professionally, and have moved all the way across the country to the most expensive city in the U.S. I've met hundreds of people, made more friends than I ever thought possible. But is it enough?
I realize now that I spent most of my 28th year pursuing things I desperately wanted. A new apartment, new projects and on top of it all, I was rapidly pursing an escape from retail and approaching everyday that I was involved in a certain institution with a radicchio bitterness. My beautiful, wonderful wife in all her wisdom and love for me, reminded me that we didn't move here to pursue jobs in anything but our dream fields. I may not make the most money or be the most appreciated by most of my higher ups, but my direct supervisor is incredible and allows me to be very flexible with scheduling (incredibly necessary in the theater) and my other job is like a constant workshop that most would have to pay thousands for and I get paid to do it!
It's a very old message of appreciating what you have. It's something I was naturally good at in my youth, but as I see my youth fleeting, becomes harder. The pressures of adulthood, make optimism a difficult vein to mine and obstacles are constantly falling, fording and fixing our attention away. But even in the 3 months since my wife reminded me, I feel so releived. All of these positives are blessedly intwined in my life and were during my 28th year, I'm just appreciating them more this year. All of the positive things!
Wish me luck friends, I have 10 days left of my 28th year! May my 29th be the best yet, and with all of you in my life it shall be!
Cameron Michael Fehring