Growing older: this is something that is often looked upon with large, fear filled eyes. Most people seem to look at the drawbacks, the questions, the……. negative parts of growing older. When should I have a family? Will my body hold up? I can't keep up anymore. Things of that nature. While some of those things are true, there a lot of really good things about growing older as well. As I approach turning 30 years old, I'm tired of all that negativity, let's talk about some of the great things about being a late 20s early 30s guy in 2011. Let's talk about some of those. So here's another list (what? Did you do a list yesterday? What are you, list man from listatinia?) That I like to call:
Big’s best parts of Olddom.
This one is almost no-brainer. Just being alive longer, exposing yourself to different situations, gives you an edge over people who haven't been in them. The experience that you have can be anything. How many fender bender's have I been in over the past seven years? Zero. The seven years before that? At least eight. And this can all stems from the fact that I’m just driving more. It has made me a better driver, and I've been in more driving situations to know how to react when something negative does happen, so I can avoid said accident.
Experience also gives you the ability to give good advice. Talking to a 24-year-old who just got out of college and is chasing his dream, you can literally help him with some sage wisdom that you learned just a few short years ago.
Let's not discount the experience that you gain in the art of courting and pleasing the opposite sex. I saw a comic that I couldn't agree more with when he said, and I'm paraphrasing here, while the libido of the 19-year-old may be stronger than mine, I'm like a well-trained sniper who can one-shot kill from 300 yards, and he is like a baby with a Tommy gun. Sure you shoot more bullets, but hitting the target for you is almost accidental, mine is a precision strike with deadly accuracy.
I've always been a fan of the arts, I was in theater my younger days, I played in the high school band as well as taught myself guitar in college, and while I personally have very little artistic ability when it comes to the visual arts, they fascinate me nonetheless.
That said with the more experience you gain, the different emotions you encounter, and the more research you can do that only comes with age, truly gives you more respect and admiration for all of them. How do you truly understand loss never lost someone, I can you understand exploration if you yourself have never explored? Questions like “am I doing the right thing?” “Is this the best I can do?” or “why did this happen?” Helps give depth and meaning to artists like Dégas, Shakespeare, or the dude who wrote “alligator rock.”
Speaking of music, this might be my favorite part of growing older. While there's no question that popular music is for the young, artist like Lady Gaga, Bruno Marrs, and Katy Perry are all talented in their own right, and I can even enjoy some of their song stylings, my ability to fall in love with a pop act may be nonexistent nowadays.
And I've never been one to preach things that you often hear “music aficionados” say. Things like “the radio doesn't play good music,” “the bigger the band gets the more water down their sound is,” and my personal favorite “oh so-and-so sold out, and is just doing it for the money.” I don't say those things not because they are necessarily true, because to a degree they all are, just not in the negative connotation that they are most often used, no I don't say those things because to me music is such a personal choice, and depends heavily on your influences, emotions, and more importantly personal taste. If your brain hears Britney Spears’ “If you Seek Amy” and it sparked joy and excitement inside of you, me telling you that you're wrong, and you shouldn't feel that way, is one of the most destructive things that I could do.
So with all my preaching done then, and explain why growing older I enjoy music more. The more time you have to explore things, and try new things, the more often you will find something fantastic that you didn't really even know existed. This has been my experience with music as of late. Diving into genres and sub genres of music lead you to find new and exciting things. The whole alt-country scene (Whiskey town, Casey Anderson), led me to the alt country rock scene (Lucero, Sun Volt), which led me to the indie rock scene (MGMT, Death Cab), which led me to the East Coast indie rock scene (Gaslight Anthem, Airborn Toxic Event, LCD SoundSystem) and who knows where it will go next.
Another great thing about all of this, is most of these bands, or least bands like them, will come through Dallas, and play venues that are not the AAC, or Verizon, or the Yellow Pages, big arena type places. You might catch a band at the double wide, or dada, or aidars saloon, where you can have a cold beer, a shot of whiskey, and stand back and listen to music.
And that brings me to the last point I want to talk about
drinking is a double edged sword as you grow older. It's very true that bouncing back from a hard night of boozing becomes more difficult older you get. Not to mention the fear that comes with overindulging, for some reason a DWI is far less scary at the age of 22 that is a 29. While getting blackout drunk, and puking everywhere was sometimes a goal to some people in our younger days, now it's kind of looked down upon. More so by yourself and other people.
All that said, drinking still kicks ass as you get older. You can enjoy a good buzz more without needing to get “wasted”. Some people have a little more money(not me), so they can enjoy a finer spirits. Pitchers of Miller lite are replaced with bottles of seasonal Sam Adams, or even gasp, a glass of red wine. It's not as strange anymore to see a middle-aged man with a martini, or a glass of scotch, as it would be if you saw younger man do it.
I could probably go on little bit longer, hell I didn't even get into sports, but as I look down and see this is already over 1000 words, I'm going to Just end it with this.
Getting older, as all things in life, has its positives and negatives, it ebbs and flows, it has its hills and valleys, and I try and take it upon myself when I am in that valley, not only look behind me and say “look up great that hill was,” but look in front of me and say “look how great that hill is going to be.”