Getting old is some nasty business.
Yesterday, Feb. 22nd, I turned 26 years old. It feels weird to be in the second half of my twenties, and I believe it’s only going to get weirder and weirder over the years.
It’s not about just time going by, it’s more about realizing you are actually an adult now. One of those guys. The ones that work every day, complain about government taxes, plan holidays based on “how many days they have left”, think about buying a flat etc.
When did I become one of those guys?
I believe the transition started with my Camino in 2013. That’s likely when the boy was killed and the adult was born. The moment when I started taking life by the horns and really making my own decisions. Everything after that has just been a consequence of my walking experience: moving abroad, dropping my Master’s degree shortly after enrolling, starting to work full-time, saving up to fulfill my travel dreams.
It was a proper ritual of initiation into my adult life and opened a phase of internal struggle between my tendency to always be on the move and the desire to eventually settle down.
A phase that reached its climax with the sudden realization that I am in the “future” that I was waiting for when I was a teenager. And in this future there is not enough time to do all the things I planned to do. That I won’t get to do everything before my time comes. That the “future” is not enough. And it sucks!
It. Fucking. Sucks.
The moment you realize this, the moment it truly and deeply becomes part of you, the moment it starts keeping you awake at night, you know you are not a “boy” anymore.
The o-henro marked the end of this phase, and launched me into proper adult “middle-class” life. You think about your career advancement, you think about flats to buy, money to invest and so on. Just like one of those guys.
My former self would probably hate my current self. I used to despise everything I am now. More than that, I was afraid of falling into the trap of a “bourgeois life”. And so I did, heads on. Now I am in it, and it feels good. Because it’s something you can hang on to. Something that has a meaning here and now, and not in the future.
Career advancement feels good. Stability feels good. Laziness feels good.
However, there is still something burning inside me that urges me to flip the table and be done with it. Go back to the Road. Go back to what I consider a more authentic life. It’s also something I can hang on to, something that keeps me together, a safe haven. I know that, whatever happens, the Road will be there for me. And it feels good.
Happy birthday to me.