Grandpa was right
I’m playing John Mayer on Spotify. When I close my eyes, I can see the dorm room I lived in, mood lighting included. This evokes a number of emotions and yet what came over the top of everything was my grandfather Harry Kuryla. At one point in his later years he said to my mother, “I feel like a 40 year old trapped in a 75 year old body”.
When my mom first shared that with me years ago I understood the meaning but as I sit here in my 35th year, I feel it more viscerally. The clarity with which these 15 year old memories can return is almost eery. It brings with it the playful look of my girlfriend’s face, my suite-mate lounging in my recliner and my co floor advisor calling my name from down the hall.
When I think about that era chronologically college feels 15 years ago, but with the right emotional cue, it might as well be yesterday. As I grow up, I better understand the wisdom of my elders. All-too-often I remember my parents, relatives and family friends going on about days gone by but as I age, I know they were referencing what I am feeling.
The other day I was in a coffee shop and my gaze fell on a man who was likely in his late 70s or early 80s. What I saw in him as I thought about it was a potential glimpse into my future. Once upon a time he was my 35 and I bet when he closes his eyes, like my grandfather, he can feel 35 again for a moment.
I am reminded of the fleeting nature of life as I look back and forward in these moments. As I sit on my bedroom floor writing this, one more Halloween is in my rearview and with any luck, one day I will sit in a coffee shop when I am 75 or 80 and reflect on what it was to be 35, wondering how the distant past can still seem so recent.
I relish this chapter and with any luck will feel the same about the next one and the one after that. I know I will regularly look back and wonder where it all went, I just hope I never look back and realize I squandered the precious time I have.
Go Forth Boldly