Friday, January 11, 2019

Growing up

I am so old that my life can now be conveniently measured in centuries. This week I officially turned .5 centuries old. And I feel like it. Though I seem to remember youth as though it were very recent, I have felt old for years now. In physical terms this age brings growing hardship. In terms of emotional health it is a comfort.

My older friends are aghast when I report being old and they insist that no, I am young. But I cannot abide their optimistic view. They seem to imagine that they are still young and that all these physical ailments are some cruel offence against us. But of course we are old. These wonders of technology and medical wizardry are a perversion to natural life (for which I am grateful!) and so of course they come with costs. These tricks prolong life but not youth. We are a race of elderly. Of course we should expect to suffer. Unfortunately there is no fairness to it. I have suffered less than my share while others whom I love have suffered more. When my dues finally mature I only hope to make peace with my own ills.

Meanwhile this milestone comes at a convenient juncture. As the many symptoms of my own neglect ramp up and finally weigh so heavily that I am truly moved toward self-improvement, so does this 50-year marker remind me how little I have accomplished in terms of the outer purpose I so easily recognized for myself years ago. I seem to have taken the easiest, most optimistic approaches to this goal, expecting myself to have the ability to successfully communicate when the moment calls for it, and for others to easily catch on, and perhaps most significantly: for others to make the rare assumption that I actually possess (or may possess) the rare insights I hint at.

Well this all has to go.

I have toyed with many organizational structures for documenting my learning and many attempts at writing THE BOOK. I have tried it as biography and other forms of non-fiction and also as eclectic collections by different themes and structures. No attempt has lasted long.

Recently I believe I may have realized finally what angle I should approach it from, which I intend to explain later. 

Aqualad told me recently that teaching is a good way to learn, and I get that. I am thankful for that reminder and reinforcement. And this, after I confessed my own doubt in being a teacher to him, for the reason that it might - it might - be fair to say that the program I dared to teach is one that I have not truly graduated from myself.

The first step toward everything; a program for others, a one-off problem solving tool for others, a book that “the world” might need to hear, and perhaps most important of all: a written “proof” behind my condition; a consolidation for my own confidence, was completed - oh - more than a decade ago. And still I have not taken the obvious second step! Which is to flesh out the framework; the complex hierarchy, into a proper outline. To assemble all the math, in other words.

Why have I avoided this so long! Subconscious fear? Laziness?

I have to do this. And I realize that this is probably a test. If I do it - and I must - I will appreciate a result. Maybe I will be reinforced and emboldened. Or maybe I will fail and fall into doubt, and turn to some other outer purpose.

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