Thoughts on youth from a train

Posted on July 7, 2013. Filed under: Uncategorized |

This is the first time in my life where I don’t consider myself part
of “the youth.” I walk down the beach and see groups of twenty
something’s and rather than peers I view them as what I once was. I
feel sadness that the future is not as expansive as it once was. I
feel sad that I will never again learn for the first time what
accomplishment feels like. I feel sad that my body now takes two days
to recover from a basketball game. I feel sad that I don’t have the
concerns and wants and feelings of one who is just embarking upon
their “adult life.” I feel sad that my future is more known than
it once was. I feel sad that things aren’t changing as much as they
used to…dust is settling to some extent. My early bets have for the
most part come in or crapped out…I sort of know how my idealistic
guesses and predictions panned out…and while I’m happy with my
decisions to date, I am sort of staring the next 10 years of my life
in the face and they don’t make my heart beat the same way that they
would have when I was 22. I no longer want to be master of the
universe..it’s wisdom not defeat that’s quieted this need. I no longer
play with the fabric of power…pushing and prodding to see where I
fall in relative to my peers and superiors. I don’t ask myself “who
are you going to be when you grow up?” Rather, I sit, somewhat calmly,
having seen enough flavors of human being to know who I am and what of
me is here to stay for the next 60 or so years…I have too deep a
glimpse into what I become to wonder and muse and dream and get lost
in a see of whimsical ambitions and dreams. I may, in fact, turn into
what I once dreamed to be, but if I do it won’t be with this huge
delta from who I am today. I now know that even large changes in
context don’t birth a man into something other than he is. The myth of
“if I just get to” or “when I achieve x” I will enter a new life…a
different life. The life I saw on the screen or that I once observed
from afar at the party that time…I now know that you never become
something other than you are…and life has moved from trying to
evolve out of who I am into trying to maximize who I am. In this
subtle change in mindset the leaps seem less large…the reach less
far…I thank god I am blessed with what I have and am, and I wonder
if what I am turns into something more exciting than this…life
breaks in all directions…we make our own destiny…until dad gets lung
cancer…and than that intrepid pioneerdom that drove us through our
twenties proves as naive as everyone told us we were back then. I wouldn’t
change the way I approached those years, but I can’t help but
live more measured than before. You might call this wisdom…days are
less exciting…less romantic…but certainly comfortable…I keep
waiting for the day when what I lost with youth is visibly replaced
with something new and shiny and better…I keep waiting to revel or
rejoice in my early wisdom…but I guess I am not yet
wise…perhaps rather I am in transition…not young…not full of
life and boundless opportunity…but not yet satisfied with where I
am…not yet capable of this bizarre happiness that comes from
“satisfaction”….I was never good at satisfaction…I would smile for a
moment and then ask “what’s next?” Satisfaction has never been
happiness for me. My happiness was always closer to “excitement” than
“satisfaction.” It’s a very strange time…31 years old…not yet
capable of satisfaction and seemingly less capable of irrational
excitement…I’m not totally sure if I need to double down on
excitement…cast wisdom aside…and “rip it and grip it” as though I
don’t know how the future likely turns out…or if this period of life
is about finding peace in how things are unfolding…and replacing my
obsession with excitement and the unknown with some other, more mature
fixation…but a lease on a BMW and a house in the hamptons just don’t
make my heart beat like the dream of changing millions of lives…of
being special…one of one…here for a reason…destined to do
something here that Nobody else could do…the wise man in me still
believes in that dream…but knows that if it happens it will be by
subtle breaks of fate and seemingly unheroic actions on a day to day
basis…he knows that many days will not be exciting…that maybe two
or three times in the next 20 years will come a pivotal moment…that
life is about being prepared for when those moments come as opposed to
brute forcing your way to make the moment emerge…so what of effort?
What of reaching? What of making your heart beat hard every day or
going crazy when in the calm? In this transition I don’t know how much
of that spirit to bring with me…into adulthood…and how much to
leave it behind in the name of the wise….Some days I want to beat
the “old” out of me…to deny what is becoming apparent and hold onto
my youthful mind. The crazy part is I don’t have a choice. I know more
than I did. I believe I can get to the same place through true
understanding as I could through delusion…I must learn how to leap
in this new body…in this new mind…I am sure that this form is
capable of what “youth” was not. I am sure my “youthful” self did not
understand that part of the journey would be to evolve into this
form…that we have to become this to get there…strangely…in this
“wisdom”…for the first time in a long time…I find myself
unsure…searching…full of angst…as I was when I was first a
conscious youth.

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3 Responses to “Thoughts on youth from a train”

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“The main interest in life and work is to become someone else that you were not in the beginning. If you knew when you began a book what you would say at the end, do you think you would have the courage to write it? What is true for writing and for a love relationship is true also for life. The game is worthwhile insofar as we don’t know what will be the end.”

-Michel Foucault

No matter how much you wax philosophical, 31 is STILL young. Feel very fortunate and rich knowing what you know and the self awareness that you have. When you’re staring at 45 (like I am), you’ll be happy to know that 35-50 can be the most productive and rewarding years of your life — especially as a parent. Keep a stiff upper lip. You’re still a pup.

“strangely…in this “wisdom”…for the first time in a long time…I find myself unsure…searching…full of angst…as I was when I was first a conscious youth.”

Self-awareness. That’s the culprit. Self-awareness destroys. What a fool I am to be a seeker, following that surging desire (and then intention) to know. Movement is at the heart of this folly, the (e)motioning towards in all its prehensive glory and light. But, no one told me that seeking would engender such angst. The energy, the force is so great it feels beyond my control. And it is. Because, in my wisdom I have come to see more than what my sharp intellect had known, the illusions of my perceptions and, worse, the delusions weaving in and around this `I’ that fortifies, even fortresses the dream. The layers of dream are dissolving and time’s sleight of hand is no longer feeding the dream. There is time there is time there is time…. But, for what? If I am losing my ability to grasp and cling to these outer layers, what’s left? “I no longer want to be master of the universe… Rather, I sit quietly.” How ironic. All this (e)motioning is enfolding me, along with the time and space that drove this machine called reality.

But, I have to admit, in the silence of my silence, as mind relaxes and the triggered panic loses hold of the old patterns of being, there is this inchoate breath opening, as if towards (though even “towards” now has a different meaning) that which is beyond the pettiness of even my greatest fear. Paradox is emerging as the dream is enfolding. It’s like a fever, this nihilism slowly breaking into a fullness, a fullness so petty it is overflowing, as if with love.


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    About

    I’m a NYC based investor and entrepreneur. I think there is one metric that can be used to measure the value of a human life and that’s impact. How did you change things? How many people did you touch? How different is the world because you lived in it and how positive was the change that you affected? (p.s. i don’t use spell check…deal with it) You can email me at Jordan.Cooper@gmail.com

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