age of awareness

I suppose we had our moment in the sun. I suppose in our youth, we had our chance to dress like kings when we stepped from the doors of our learning institutions and into the world, which we thought would be easy.
We howled and we laughed. We lived as hard and as loud as we could, and from there, we slowly trickled into our places in society.
We found our new directions and said we would always keep in touch. Then we dressed ourselves and celebrated, perhaps, moving deeper into the adult world and away from the usual crowds and the popular spots in our neighborhood.

We were in wedding parties, and perchance, we howled our last howl while dressed in our black-tie best, clanging forks against wine glasses, and cheering for the groom to kiss the bride.
We were unbelievably young and untouched by life. Up to this point, we were mostly untried, however, we moved without concern because we were zestfully unaware.
In truth, we were princes entering our own kingdom for the first time. We were away from the protection of our families, and above all, we were on our way to creating our own families.

We didn’t know what divorce was, at least, not literally. We thought we could beat the odds and the nights with the bright lights and flashy clothes would remain as they were.
Ready for the world, we tucked our chin and raised our guard; we headed in with the best of intentions because we believed that love and desire will conquer all.

Eventually, we all moved.
We spread out into different parts of the country.
Inevitably, our names became nothing more than distant memories.
The wedding invitations stopped, along with the phone calls to keep in touch, and finally, the dust of our youth began to settle.

Next, we entered parenthood, which resulted in a new layer of bills.
This is when we learned about the other side of life and the silver lining of our royalty began to tarnish.
This is when we learned what sacrifice means.
That’s when we balanced our checkbooks and came up short. We lived week to week and grew resentful because the life we thought we would have, was not the life we lived.

What happened, I wonder.
This trick called youth faded and slipped through our fingers. The illusion we had of how life should be was introduced to reality, mortgages, and after midnight trips to the all-night pediatric center.
Somewhere in our youthful zest, we never knew that marriage is work, or that life is work. We failed to realize that each day comes with new challenges as well as new responsibilities.

As a kid, I used to sit on a concrete bench in a park near my house. I. drank and I smoked. I howled into the night, and somehow, I believed I was invincible.

As an adult, I visited this place with my daughter standing next to me. I stared at the concrete bench and the bicycle rack behind it.
I stared and the playground we called, “The Tot-Lot,” which was on the other side of the parking lot, and while lost in the recollection of who I was, a group of teenagers with half-closed and bloodshot eyes, walked passed, laughing, and living as loud as they could.

I suppose this is the course of life, and as part of my crazed generation, I have grown and moved beyond the downfalls

And through it all…..
I made it

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