Monday, August 18, 2014

Youthful Indiscretions...they catch up

I grew up with a fair amount of physical pain and suffering, and knowledge that my body is fragile and perishable.  So, when “adults” talked about how “kids these days” think they’re invincible or that they’re immortal, I sided with the “adults.”  I knew that I was weak and that I may succumb to ill health or any other physical vulnerabilities.  I had developed TMJ early on, probably starting with the major head injury brought upon myself at age 7, and lived with migraines, locked jaws and other incredible pain.  I knew I shouldn't rest the weight of my head on my chin in my would exacerbate the problems.  I knew I could break.
I scoffed at the silly indiscretions of my youthful peers, those who engaged in risky behaviors, putting their physical and emotional and mental health on the line.  I knew that acting without forethought would only hurt them in the long run and they’ll regret not making better choices and taking better care of themselves.  I thought I was being responsible and had sufficient perspective, and was lauded for making relatively wise choices as a young person. 
That was then.  Now, nearly two months into my 32nd year of life, I realize that I too have had some youthful indiscretions, as cautious as I had been, though the level of caution taken fluctuated and lessened with increasing age.  Either way, I’m guilty of not eating regular meals, of partaking in some alcoholic beverages, partaking in “risky” activities (sky diving, ATV/four-wheeling in a desert without a helmet or safety gear, etc), eating food that’s probably past its prime and/or was prepared in an unsanitary environment, and the list goes on…oh, especially not sleeping.  I used to hold on to the thought, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead,” and wished for a sweet moment of death so that I may sleep.  All were unhealthy and silly indiscretions of a mind clouded by youthful optimism. 
I now have screwed with my body enough that I get low-blood sugar headaches if I forget to eat regularly, I have scoliosis, chronic post-tibular tendonitis and bursitis that flares up once in a while.  I am non-athletic and a cloudy mind from the lack of a regular sleep schedule.  I chose a career that robs me of rest and peace of mind, which I find to be emotionally draining and physically exhausting.  I can no longer look at young people and scoff at their indiscretions, because, even though I thought I knew and appreciated my mortality and my physical fragility, I knew far less and appreciated far less than I thought I had.  I now know that I am intricately connected to my family and my social groups, I cannot healthfully function in a vacuum, as I once thought myself capable of doing should the need arise.  I am even more fragile and subject to the physical and mental challenges of this world.  I realize youth is, indeed, fleeting.

Wow I feel old.

[On the disappointments of the job front: It looks like I won't be able to go on the family vacation to Jeju Island that was planned and plane tickets purchased over 4 months ago.  I will spend another traditional family vacation alone and depressed.  And now they're wavering on the home leave the partner had suggested I take in October after the hearing.  There's no winning here, there's no life, there's no consideration of your humanity or need for rest, there's no upholding of their words.  It's all functions of their changing whims.]

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