Today is my last day of being 36. I know, who cares? Well, 37 is a weird number and I have found myself being quite reflective the last few days. I don’t know why. I am not an overly nostalgic person even if I am extremely loyal and have a hard time letting things, like relationships, go.
I remember when I turned 16. The rush of knowing I could get my license. I didn’t get it until I was 18 but I knew I could. Why didn’t I get it you ask? Well, I was pour, my friends all drove, and gas was less than a buck a gallon. Sure, I didn’t have a license but I never didn’t have a ride. Man, I was pretty smart act 16.
18. Man, adulthood seems so legit when you are staring up at it. My 18th birthday party was three of my closest friends and myself. That was one of the my favorite parties ever. I still remember the gifts. A pack of Camel Turkish Gold cigarettes, a Playboy, and a lottery ticket that earned me another free lottery ticket. The future was looking so bright. It is funny to think about what I thought an adult was when I became one. Adults had power, they had freedom, they weren’t whatever it was I was. Reflecting on this reminds me of when I re-read Catcher in the Rye. That kid was once my hero, now he seems like such a punk.
Next came 21. My friends bought me something called Miller Genuine Draft that was allegedly beer. At the time it was the most glorious thing I had ever consumed, 21 Josh was sort of stupid. We also went to Vegas and I was finally old enough to lose a decent amount of money to a casino that convinced me I was still a winner with tray after tray of water downed, free booze.
Then I hit 23. I know, 23 isn’t special but for me it was. I blasted Blink 182 daily. The funny thing is, nobody liked me when I was 23. I didn’t like me when I was 23. Man, I was seriously a dick. I think that was the year the truth that I would never know my dad really hit me and I was such an arrogant, self-centered prick about how I coped with it. Blink, you guys may be prophets.
36. Why does 36 matter? Well, that means you have hit 18 twice. The first time around was trying to survive in Azusa as a Cuban kid who looks white. it was about figuring out what mattered and what would matter. The second time around, I was trying to figure out how to be a husband, a dad, and a decent friend. No joke, not having a dad makes things really weird, step up gents.
And tomorrow, September 2nd, 2016, I will be 37. I don’t view birthdays like I used too. I used to get giddy with excitement about getting older. Now, that joy comes for each of my kids and wife’s birthdays. I am not excited but I am also not, not excited, if that makes sense. I am here. Damn, that sounds so depressing and it isn’t.
I don’t play in a grunge rock band anymore, I play at church. I don’t run around care free like a child, I raise them. I don’t 18 year old Josh anymore, I do the 37 version. Sometimes I miss all the previous versions of myself. I don’t miss the things they did are who they were. I miss how blissfully ignorant they were about just about everything.
Okay, I do miss one thing, my hair.