It's a weird process, getting older that is. Now don't get me wrong, I don't feel like I am that old, I will only be 41 next month. But in the time I spent here on earth, things sure have changed. I don't mean just things like clothes, or music, or other fads that come and go. I mean more like who I am, and the things I care about, or that are important to me. Though the change in fads are amazing. Take this pic for instance I was like 3 or 4. Now I know the hair doo and the shirt is totally groovy, and even the bell bottoms I have on that you can't see.
You don't really see this anymore, and if you do, it's probably on a freakin hipster, or like most fads, they usually come back in style eventually. I remember a time in the 90's when bell bottoms were a huge thing. Just like music, clothing always come back around.
By the time the 80's rolled around things had taken yet another turn. We had bands like Devo, Michael Jackson, Poison, The Dead Milkmen and so on. And as we all know, the Movie and Music industry usually has the biggest effect on fashion and all that. But being from the Hills of Eastern KY, we stuck to Jeans, and Flannel shirts mostly. I never followed fads really, as you can tell from this pic of me when I was 14 (Yeah I know, Sexy right?) Though the world kept on moving forward, we mostly stayed the same. Being sheltered in a small town, by the time a new fashion, or something came around here it was already old to the rest of the world, but to be honest we didn't really mind.
I am going to totally skip the 90's actually. I spent most of my time working and taking care of my baby that was born in 92. There really wasn't much for me, taking care of my family was my one and only goal. But I will post a happy pic of me and my daughter when she was small. This is from 95 I think.. Those were happy days
Things have changed so much in the world.. Crime is up, the cost of living is insane, gas prices are at a place I never thought we would see, considering the year I was born, around here it was about .35 or .40 cents per gallon. $4.00 is something of a nightmare hehe.
But as you get older, those are the more subtle changes to be honest. The biggest changes, are the ones that happen to who you are. I spent my life fighting, I was a very angry kid, life was hard when I lived at home, and things in my home life were horrible. Physical abuse can really set you on a crazy path. Because of the things that happened at home, I would go to school, or out with my friends, and look for someone to take my pain out on. There was a lot of hate and anger in my heart, and I needed to exact revenge on someone, or something.
This way of living followed me into adulthood, though I vowed if I ever had a child I would never beat on it like how I was. I was determined to not be my parents. But I still had the same hatred for people in general.
When I hit my 30's there was more of a change in me personally. I still had a lot of anger, but I stared to get somewhat of a grip on it. Not the greatest grip mind you, I still got into a lot of fights, but at least some of them were for the right reasons. Like the time my girlfriend at the time came home from the store crying. I asked her what was wrong, she said a guy that worked there had made a very vulgar remark to her. I felt that old hate and anger rise up in me, but this time it seemed more righteous, if that makes any sense. Well I went to the store, demanded to see the guy she described. One of the cashiers pointed him out to me. I went and grabbed him by his shirt, pulled him through the store, and then outside, to the side of the store. I cursed him thoroughly, then proceeded to punch him many many times, while he begged me not to. I quit once I noticed he had pissed his pants. I walked away feeling that justice had been served.
The 30's were weird for me physically, I had multiple heart attacks, multiple surgeries, hard living was catching up to my body. It didn't quite bounce back the way it once did, but still I let that anger push me. To vent some of this frustration, I became a professional wrestler, which to be honest help me so much. Thought everyone knows it's entertainment, slamming someone through a table still is one of the greatest releases you will ever have. Somewhere in that time frame, a friend of mine was getting into MMA, which I also loved. He had an old building by his house, we built a ring, got the gloves and all that, and on like every monday and saturday of every week we got together at his house to fight. It started with about 4 of us, and before we knew it we were having around 20 to 25 people showing up to fight, and some just to watch. It was such an amazing feeling to punch someone in the face, or to be punched in the face, it was a great release.
In my late 30's is when I actually had the heart attacks, which changed a lot of things for me. Yeah there was a big physical change, but there is nothing that will make you reflect on your life like laying on a hospital bed with a 98% blockage in an artery, knowing you are dying, and these last few breaths you take, will be it. Obviously I didn't die, but that night I was, even the cardiologist that saved me said he had no clue how I lived, and that I shouldn't be alive. Either way, it was now time for major reflection, though it sucks that I had to almost die to do so.
Now I am not giving all the credit to the heart attack, but it played a huge roll in my personal change, but the biggest change was just getting older. Watching younger people, the things they cared about, the things that were important to them, for the first time in my life, I saw how stupid it was. Material things started to lose their value, and just loving my friends and family became far more important. The rage in me started to fall away, and compassion and understanding worked its way in.
Yeah for the most part, people are stupid, selfish morons, but the biggest part of the time they are only a product of how they were raised, where they were raised, and the people that surrounded them during that time. Don't get me wrong I am not making excuses for people, most still need to have their teeth shoved down their throat, I just see them differently now. When someone does something that makes me mad now, I try to take a few moments to look at the situation now. I try to think of why they would do it, what the motivation was. I try to put myself in their shoes, or even remember how I use to be. Maybe they grew up like me, maybe they don't know how to process their anger. When these things come to mind, more often than not, I settle down and become a bit more rational.
They say "Youth is wasted on the young" which is one of the most true statements ever made. They also say that "With age comes wisdom" and it really does. Thought by the time you become older, you will probably be living with a lot of regret, as I do. But what most don't understand is that, regret is wisdom, it is one of the greatest teachers you will ever have. The reason? It never leaves, it is always there reminding you of your mistakes, pushing you to learn, to grow, to be a better person. This to me, is the very definition of wisdom. This only really comes with age, because we have had time to make more mistakes, and also learn from them.
So here I am now, turning 41 on the 8th of next month, I have survived heart attacks, more surgeries than I can count, mouth cancer when I was 19, and now Diabetes, which the Doctor assures me will shorten my life by many years, and a bad ticker hehe. But life is better now, I appreciate people, I love my family, I raised a wonderful daughter who is now married, and happy. I have an adopted daughter who is just awesome. She is a special needs child, but there is more love and excitement in her eyes than you could ever imagine. And she is as black as the ace of spades hehehe.. I call her Chocolate Thunder, and right now is the most special person in my life. I have a wonderful girlfriend who despite being 17 years younger than me, loves me more than life its self.
This whole blog came about because of a post that was made by someone who I banned from a COD server, for what I considered cheating. He was disrespectful in his words, and carried a lot of attitude. Immediately I wanted to go to his post and rage on him for the little shit he was being, but I didn't. And I replied with a respectful, and mature comment. It hit me right after I got full of anger, why am I getting so upset with someone I don't know, over a game that is well, just a game. I remember coming into this Community because of my love for games, and how much fun and joy it brought me, and I am not going to let anyone steal that from me, no matter how disrespectful they are. This line of thinking has also come with age.
So all that got me to reflect yet again, and here I am blogging about it. I realize most will not read all of this or any of it at all, and that's okay because more than anything, I just had all this in my heart and needed to get it out, and man do I feel better hehe. Getting old ain't bad, it's refreshing, relaxing and more than anything liberating. I love like more than ever, heck I just simply love more than ever!
So to finish it off here is a recent pic of my in all my oldness and beardness haha.. Age is only what you make of it. Learn, love, laugh, and enjoy life, it's the only one you got, make the most of it