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  • Writer's pictureGrant Stoye

A New Decade for Mental Vomit

In one week I turn 40 years old.

It's been something I've been aware of -- even excited for -- for the last couple of years. And yet today, with time being linear and all, I felt a sense of fear.

In my 10's, it was just learning and growing, trying to fit knowledge into this weird changing body, and that's okay, y'know? Who looks back at that decade with regret or with a sense of longing about anything other than not having to pay bills? It was good. It happened. Thank God it's over.

My 20's were about blossoming into the person I wanted to be. I went out into the world on the other side of my bubble, and met people and visited places that dramatically affected my perception of humanity. It was fun! It was also heartbreaking and full of pitfalls, like the official depression diagnosis, and needing glasses, and having to try to cobble enough money together to buy food AND booze.

It was my 30's where I really felt like I could access the experience to build the foundation of my life. This is where I could confidently say that I knew what I wanted to do as not just a vocation, but as a calling. I learned true empathy. I learned. how deep love can really be. I learned how precious time was, and how it's a commodity, and how I don't have to give my time to anyone or anything I don't think is worth a damn. I REALLY liked my 30's.

But this? 40's? Goddamn. I don't know what's going on.

Part of me looks at research. I see that life expectancy can hit 80, that it's a typical time when large groups of people start kicking the bucket. Does that mean my life is half over? OH DAMN!

I also look around at my friends and family. I see comfortable lives, lives with purpose and meaning and holy shit, I'm just starting a new career. Holy SHIT, I have too many t-shirts! I can't talk financial stuff for longer than three minutes! I don't have as many photos as I should!

Is it supposed to be frightening? I can't tell! Part of me wants to worry even MORE, but another part of me is excited to give even fewer shits.

Maybe I'm just psyching myself out. Maybe this is only the beginning of the best decade of my life. Maybe I'm not even considering how good I have it in the grander scheme of things. Maybe age is just a number and I'm still the same 15-year-old doofus with Old Man Tendencies I've always been.

I don't know, and for a moment, that really scared me.

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