I have this thing where I love to drive. It doesn’t matter where. Sometimes I’ll drive for the sake of driving, so I’ll feel like I’m heading somewhere, going some place. This is especially true in the summer. I just drive and imagine that I’m headed somewhere great. I remember in the summer, I would drive down country roads, trying to find my friend’s house among the vast expanse of fields and dirt roads, and I would listen to Colin Hay’s Waiting for My Real Life to Begin, knowing that my life was happening, right then, right at that moment. It was both a great and painful experience. I never wanted to stop driving and listening to the music, but eventually, I would make it to my friend’s house (after being lost for sometime—I blame the outdated GPS), turn off the music, turn off the engine, and step out from the car.
To grow old is to lose everything.
Aging, everybody knows it.
Even when we are young,
we glimpse it sometimes, and nod our heads
when a grandfather dies.
Then we row for years on the midsummer
pond, ignorant and content. But a marriage,
that began without harm, scatters
into debris on the shore,
and a friend from school drops
cold on a rocky strand.
If a new love carries us
past middle age, our wife will die
at her strongest and most beautiful.
New women come and go. All go.
The pretty lover who announces
that she is temporary
is temporary. The bold woman,
middle-aged against our old age,
sinks under an anxiety she cannot withstand.
Another friend of decades estranges himself
in words that pollute thirty years.
Let us stifle under mud at the pond’s edge
and affirm that it is fitting
and delicious to lose everything.
Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.
— Maya Angelou