It seems like I literally just wrote a blog, (I did. Stories You'd Tell was written 5 days ago.) but I was compelled to do one tonight. Why? Well, because of Snapchat. I, like many others, love to get my snaps on. I usually go for the demons and the scary ones. I only share snaps with 4 people, but I have a ton of fun with my chosen group of friends. I love them so much I often use them as
profile pictures with some well thought out random thought. Does that sound confusing to you too? In short, like the pic here, I love things that make me look and be able to act awesome. I mean just look at me right here in my front door way looking like Sean the Lightning man, or some way cooler name that I can't currently think of so Lightening Man is the best I can do. That is the beauty of the world of make believe where you can be anything that the 12 or so pictures (Wait, is that what they call those?) allowed from the Gods of Snapchat. Who can hate that? Who can come in and say, "Hell naw, I don't like those Snapchat pictures?" I don't think anyone with an imagination and adventuring spirit could hate those. That's me, right there, full of imagination and adventure with fire-blue eyes apparently. That is all good stuff for sure, but this isn't about that greatness. So what is this about? I'm glad you asked. Every now and again the Gods of the Snapchat universe give something that is disturbing or odd or, as some of my friends say, "NOPE!" But today as I scrolled through my options to respond to my wife's devil girl snap, I stumbled across one that made me pause. In fact, to be perfectly honest, I simply stared at it for a good 2 or 3 minutes. It was interesting as the thoughts bounced around in my head. One question was, why is this snap making me think? Why do I feel like blogging about it? Why is that important at all? I mean it's Sunday evening and I recently blogged so I don't need to do it again. The truth is I don't "need" to do anything with it. If I didn't start writing none of you would even know I took a picture or had a thought at all. Yet, here we are because a picture did compel me to write. It also made me think of another blog I wrote, I Forgot About Tomorrow, which will make sense after you read this one.
I guess I should share the snap that sparked this and the thoughts that grew from looking at it.
Here it is. Nothing spectacular. Nothing very exciting or wow-worthy at all. Just a picture of me with 40 more years or so on my body. It's just a picture of old man me. But it wasn't just a picture at all. It captivated me. It didn't just pull me in. It made me look. I made me look. I made me look in the eyes of myself. I should say, I hadn't actually snapped the picture yet. I was sitting and looking at this image but in full action. It was that full action that made me stop. I had to look into the eyes and the mirror they became as I did just that... I looked. As I looked at me and I wrangled the thoughts into, at the very least, an organized pattern, I felt a bit sad. Sad. That was the thing that sparked me to write this blog. It was the point that needed to be understood by me and, as you can see, put on paper (a computer, actually, but you get the point). So, let me tell you what I saw and what I'm thinking about because of this Snapchat filter.
Today, at this very moment, I am 45 years old. I teach 15-ish fitness classes a week, hike, dance, and generally have a grand time with life. But this face looking back at me on my mobile device (and now my screen) shows a story I don't think I was prepared to see or think about. I look at it and I see lost friends who I'll never get to speak to again. I see lost loves and a lifetime of fighting to get one more day of living. I see youthful promise replaced with aged contentment. I see so much in it and I wonder so much too. I wonder what happened to his family. Are they around, or is he just counting what's left of the sands of his time? I wonder how he moves and does he move around, or is he tucked away in his house where people barely know he lives. I wonder what his ailments are and if he takes care of himself. I wonder why his eyes are sad. I wonder. I sit and I wonder who will I be when I have become him. Then I thought of the deeper question:
Would I even make it to be him?
That is a powerful question, isn't it? I don't know about tomorrow or the tomorrow after that or the tomorrow after that either. I know I have today, and I know that looking into the eyes of the old man in the Snapchat filter reminds me of how great the guy in the mirror is to me. In the end, I am not sad for the old me. I look at him as 15-year-old me would look at the me of today at 45 which is with wonder and curiosity. You see, tomorrow isn't promised and that old man in the picture may never come, or, as the blog mentioned earlier says, "I Forgot About Tomorrow." One day, I know that I will look in the mirror and see all those things I took for granted or complained about over the years. Things like no wrinkles, all my teeth, good vision, hair (?), hearing, the lack of hair in places long hair should not be growing (i.e. nose and ears) and the such. I'm not guaranteed to lose any of that or have any of those issues, but I know I take most of it for granted today because, and this is as real as it gets: 80 years old is still nearly double my life away. That is life.
As I close this quick blog, I want to remind you and me that life is too short not to enjoy it. Life is over in the blink of an eye. Therefore, we must embrace the adventures of it, the friends we have in it, and the choices we take while we still can make them, both good and bad. If you are lucky, you will see your face aged and you will remember it. So, you live today because tomorrow is definitely not given. Last but not least, to the old me: thank you. Thank you for surviving whatever it is we went through. Thank you for laughing and creating all those lines. Thank you for being you. Thank you for loving the way you did. Thank you for learning, experiencing and sharing life with others. Thank you for Living Every Tiny Moment Exceptionally (LETME) and finding the beauty in the world. Most of all, thank you for making it to another day because I kind of love seeing new days.
Thank you, the reader, for taking time to read these rambles. Thank you for being willing to take a journey with me and engage in conversations. May you find yourself in old age too. #JustAThought #LETME