The Seeker

A Meta-Cognitive Journal About Writing… Plus Other Stuff

A Long, Strange Trip, pt. 1

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I turn 40 in two weeks.  The titular long, strange trip could just as well apply to the last year alone as it does to my entire existence.

Thank god I’m not the only one turning 40 this year.  There’s something to be said for “Misery Loves Company,” but not too much, because I’m not miserable.  I’m generally happy, frequently pretty happy, but occasionally unhappy.  More on that later.

There hasn’t been a birthday that I’ve been more wary of than 40, because it is a significant measuring stick.  I clearly remember 30, and remember being anxious about it, but that’s been minor league compared to the anxiety I’ve been feeling about turning 40 for the past 7 months.  Fortunately, I have plenty of friends who made the milestone before me, so I’ve done some witnessing to how my peers have handled it.  In that regard, I’m in a good place.  I haven’t freaked out like several have, but I haven’t glided in with grace and dignity as a few others have.

For starters, it seems that people are serious now about life and mortality.  This first became apparent last fall when I was found out of the blue by a high school classmate who I knew for less than a year and who disappeared from my
hometown literally overnight.  I was shocked, but pleasantly so.  We caught up on life, and it turned into a bit of a confessional.  I can’t help but think that the pending shadow of 40 is what helped initiate that contact.

That was but the beginning…

In early April, I answered my phone at work to this question:  “Is this Jeff Burd from Angola, Indiana?”

Somewhat taken aback by the abruptness of the question, I replied, “Who is calling?”

“My name is _______.  I’m a __________ in ___________.”  Thus began one of the ugliest and most contentious phone calls in recent memory.

It seems another high school classmate was looking for me in regard to a 40th birthday party that was being planned for another classmate, and asked ______ how to find someone.  She mentioned my name, and he took it upon himself to find me and contact me in a place where I don’t readily accept personal phone calls.

I didn’t mind being contacted, but I did mind ______’s approach.  In my opinion, he was trying to strong-arm me when I wouldn’t come forth about being the Jeff Burd he was looking for until he told me the nature of his business.  I still don’t know what he was thinking or why he would try to be, in my opinion, a hard-ass over such a minor issue.  We bickered back and forth on email about his demeanor and, in my opinion, lack of professionalism, and I got to thinking about whether or not he was even a _____________.  Not that it matters…  you can call yourself that if that’s what you do for a living.  Besides, licensing or lack thereof doesn’t change the fact that ______ has solid experience with the law, some of which is based on his case against _______ that stemmed from his arrest for __________  and ___________.  That’s not the extent of his law experience, though.  I’m sure he had many positive experiences when he worked as a ________ for ________________, at least until _____________.

If nothing else, the whole experience was an education into what it’s like to be a _________.  After that, I let things go–  I remembered that I was almost 40, which is too old to deal with such asininity, in my opinion.

Written by seeker70

June 18, 2010 at 11:23 am

Posted in Uncategorized

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