So I'm 40 Now

That's what my birth certificate & the calendar say, anyway.

Do I look 40? Well, the gray hairs on my goatee are becoming more widespread, but still look a bit out of place with the remnants of the acne which appeared on my puberty, and apparently became so infatuated with my face that it decided never to leave.

Do I feel 40? That's a tricky question. Physically I'm not in the greatest of fitness, but neither are scores of men & women younger than me. That's not age, that's sedentarism.

I haven't yet suffered of a heart attack *knocks on wood* but I on the other hand already suffer from a form of arthritis called ankylosing spondylitis, so rare it's like winning the lottery but backwards, because it sucks.

How about mentally? That's a big resounding 'No.' It's probably not something to brag about, because it might just be a result of my deep immaturity --Wot, you tellin' me I can't watch Spongebob Squarepants no more? GTFO!

I remember how back in the 90's discussing the so-called Peter Pan Complex was all the rage on the radio & TV talk shows. Now perhaps it's not that interesting because EVERYBODY is suffering it. There's a reason why the biggest-grossing movies made in Hollywood are based on comics, and the video-game industry is now even bigger than Hollywood.

Mid-life crisis in the 80's was about buying a sports convertible & hair inserts. Perhaps mid-life crisis in 2013 is now resolved with a Spartan armor replica & a pair of Oculus Rift.

The thing is, it doesn't feel like I'm about to experience a mid-life crisis. Oh sure, it's inevitable to look back & make an assessment of one's accomplishments, and there's definitely a lot of things I would have liked to have achieved by now. Professionally I'm nowhere near as where I'd like to have been when I was in my early 30's. Financially… let's just change the subject.

Which brings us to the final item on the checklist: My emotional state.

If I make an honest evaluation of my general mood, I'm forced to conclude that I feel happier than how I felt 10 years ago.

Back in those days things didn't look too good for me, and for that a little anecdote is in order: Back in my mid-twenties, I had somehow managed to land a job in one of the biggest architectural firms in Mexico --maybe even the world (Srsly)-- and I felt like Leo on Titanic, the king of the world starting a promising career with the right foot. If I played my cards right, the sky was the limit!

I lasted approximately 7 months on that job.

During the whole time I felt a continuous sense of disappointment over the fact that my suggestions & ideas were not only unnoticed --they were unwelcome. "We already have 2 dreamers in this studio," they once told me, referring to the founder of the firm & his son, who would eventually take over when the time came. "Your job is to bring their dreams into fruition."

That. Pissed. Me. Off.

Furthermore, I was expected to perform the most menial of tasks with a big smile on my face, to show how grateful I was that I was given the opportunity to apply my college diploma, from one of the top schools in my country… by faxing letters & using the copy machine.

So I was eventually shown the door. It wasn't the first time, you know. Already I knew I had a problem with authority & a very strong temper which forced me not to stay quiet, when I was given an order I considered nonsensical or just plain stupid. On my first job after college I quit & walked out of a pending assignment in protest. On my second job I was fired, thus beginning a routine in which I either walked out of a job or was kicked out. A routine that still persisted after I was fired from what I considered to have been my ticket to stardom, here at the world-famous architecture firm.

My one chance in life to show what I was capable of, and I blew it. I'm sure you all can imagine what that does to your self-esteem.

Later in life I realized that depression ran deep in my family, with both my father & my oldest sister suffering from it, but back then I didn't know that. My sister offered me to take me to see a psychiatrist, who after a looong session with me prescribed some anti-depressants. But since I didn't have a medical insurance, the fact that I couldn't afford to buy the anti-depressants made me more depressed! So I decided to stop taking them (a rather lucky outcome in retrospect of what I now know of these type of medication.)

In sum, the black dog was continually biting me on the shins. I would often spend the weekends doing nothing except sleeping, for sleep was the only thing disconnecting me from my dreadful existence. I would roll on the bed & observe the gradual attenuation of light passing through my window curtains, wondering about what hour it was, thought not really caring.

As I look back, now that I'm known as the Red Pill Junkie, I feel compelled to plagiarize Morpheus & conclude I was feeling the pain from that splinter on my head which torments so many of us in the Fortean community. But the splinter wasn't driving me mad; it was driving me suicidal.

During those days a good week was one in which I would only think about doing something stupid to myself once or twice, whereas a bad day was one in which the thoughts kept buzzing around my head like blow flies --"I'm a loser" "I'm a failure" "I've wasted my life" "I let down my parents" "The world would be better off without me."

That's when, due to a chain of events I can only describe as serendipitous, I found my way to The Grail. And then for reasons I still can't explain, Greg invited me to be part of the TDG news admins --more unbelievable still is that I accepted, despite my instinctual aversion to failure.

One of the best decisions I've made.

So now that you know the story, I hope you don't deem it too melodramatic when I claim that becoming a Grailer probably saved my life. It helped me realize there was a splinter in my head and the means to extract it & toss it to the garbage can once & for all.

It saved my life because it gave it a purpose.

During the last 8 years that I've been part of this community, I've seen my circle of online comrades grow exponentially. It also opened for me opportunities I wouldn't have dreamed of 10 years ago: the chance to be a producer of content instead of a mere consumer. One of the great joys I've received lately is whenever I'm interacting on other forums & someone lets me know how much they enjoyed the column I write for Mysterious Universe; or the people who approached me last year during Paradigm Symposium and asked ME for an autograph(!). The fact that there's someone on the other side of the world who think it's worth their while to spend 10 or 15 minutes of their day, reading something I wrote is... well, beyond my writing abilities to describe.

Yes, the black dog is still there, roaming at my door step. Yes, my bank account is still laughably lean & I still need to obey nonsensical orders in order to pay the bills.

But my short tenure as the Red Pill Junkie has given me a sense of balance. A knowledge that there will always be things in our life aiming to take us down, but only if we let them. As the old Zen saying goes: Pain is inevitable, but Suffering is optional.

Meanwhile I know there's still oodles of things to explore on the web, and scores of people to discuss them with. The journey has become the destination, and for the first time in my life I can say that I'm content, but not as much as I know I'll be in the future.

So the calendar says I'm 40 years old. Meh.

What matters to me is that I'm an 8-year-old Gralien.

(Mexico city, October 4th 2013)

______________________________

PS: Personal jetpacks, flying cars & cities on the Moon, all these I can very well live without. But where Science has totally failed me is this: The fact that now when I'm supposed to worry about such things, THIS is still the standard procedure for a prostate exam --Srsly XXIst century?

Where the hell is Elon Musk when you bloody need him?!!

Comments

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
LastLoup's picture
Member since:
6 April 2010
Last activity:
7 min 41 sec

red pill junkie wrote:

What matters to me is that I'm an 8-year-old Gralien.

In dog or cat years? :P

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

Sometimes it feels like dog years, especially when I need to get rid of spam messages :P

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Rick MG's picture
Member since:
2 May 2004
Last activity:
1 week 13 hours

Do what I did, and get yourself a white cat. ;)

~ * ~

@levitatingcat

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
1 hour 36 min

I just turned 60 - contrary to this culture's lore a person's 50's and 60's can often be the "good" years. A lot of ego crap and hormonal misdirection has subsided and one is free to think freely again. Just hang on a while longer.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

I hear ya. I've made a lot of bad decisions driven by my hormones.

And yeah, I'm looking forward to the next 10, 20 years. I hope Science will have advanced sufficiently to help us old timers get rid of most of the maladies affecting one's health :)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

But then it becomes a decision between depression vs toxoplasmosis :P

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

Elgon's picture
Member since:
3 March 2008
Last activity:
12 weeks 6 days

For several years now, it's been legal for you to buy alcohol... to bear arms... to consume pornography... to vote... At 40 it's legal to study Kabbalah, or so they say.

Nevertheless, keep up the liveliness, man!

---
The flap of a butterfly's wings in the Atlantic may cause it to fly.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

Studying Kabbalah? Now THERE's an idea!

I'll definitely follow your advice, amigo, as I raise my bottle of legally-consumed Corona ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

AncientSkyMan's picture
Member since:
1 May 2004
Last activity:
2 weeks 6 days

. . . officially study the inner secrets of the Kaballah. . . see you in the Outer Spheriot ;-)

Congratulations on your Birthday!

ASM

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

I'd better stop trimming my beard, then! =)

Thanks for the good wishes ^_^

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

fahim knight's picture
Member since:
22 December 2007
Last activity:
13 weeks 4 days

Happy Earth Day mate. I wish you many more; just have some cake and ice cream for the TDG family and enjoy your Earth Day celebration.

Stay Awake Until We Meet Again,
Fahim A. Knight-El

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

There was a cake --and it wasn't a lie-- and quite a few bottles of red wine ;)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
1 hour 36 min

The idea of 40 being a milestone seems so quaint to a 60 year old. For someone such as myself who had been very, very slow to mature the numeral scales just don't seem to apply anyway. Duration in years is another thing that dissolves into relativism as you get "older." I feel though that I have actually been getting younger and freer. We all know elderly people who have a childish bearing without being mentally handicapped. With any luck that is where you will wind up.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

Yep. That's the plan :)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

mrs.eccentric's picture
Member since:
13 October 2013
Last activity:
14 weeks 5 days

It's true. I registered with The Daily Grail expressly to be able to wish the Red Pill Junquey himself a Happy Birthday on this very page.

Here goes: "Feliz Cumpleaños!" (sorry about the upside down and backwards exclamation point.)

I hope this goes better than a similar effort of my mother's many years ago. She went to a birthday part for a Spanish-speaking friend who had just come back from a trip to Spain, where he toured many of the masterpieces of architect Gaudi - a lifelong dream.

Anyways, in honor of his recent trip she kept wishing him "Feliz Navidad!" She noted a puzzled look on his face at the time, but the party was rockin' and the booze was flowing, so she didn't think anything of it.

Until she left to return home, and was walked to her car by the hostess who asked her why she kept wishing "X" a Merry Christmas. (ba doom ching)

Best Wishes for a fruitful and creative year in any event. Your friend, steph

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

LOL FWIW Xmas is still my favorite holiday, so I wouldn't have minded ;)

Welcome to the Grail, Steph. Please stick around & join in the fun. There's plenty of cool stuff around here :)

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
1 hour 36 min

Except of course she may have intended that Mr. Red Pill was the second coming.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

Y'all free to celebrate my birthday as the 'Xmas in October' :P

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

LastLoup's picture
Member since:
6 April 2010
Last activity:
7 min 41 sec
emlong wrote:

Except of course she may have intended that Mr. Red Pill was the second coming.

XD

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

earthling's picture
Member since:
22 November 2004
Last activity:
3 weeks 2 days

I think a person, man or woman, is better of older than deader.

I plan on complaining about my age for a long long time.

----
We are the cat.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

You'll be the soul of the asylum :P

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
1 hour 36 min

And people nowadays have so much information about how to take better care of themselves.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

Too much information IMO. It almost feels like what they said it was harmful for you 10 years ago is now lauded as the best thing ever this year, and viceversa.

Whenever I read about the latest health fad, I always think of this little scene ;)

See video

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

LastLoup's picture
Member since:
6 April 2010
Last activity:
7 min 41 sec
Quote:

But they all ate organic rice.

So much yes. So much yes.
This movie is still true today. Well...except the part about tobacco :P

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
1 hour 36 min

I think fads in eating and taking care of your health are not just ephemeral - there are actually different regimes of self maintenance based on the specific energies of different times. Now that it's cool to eat fatty meats again and carbos are out just means we have wheeled around the galaxy core to some place where things are different - that's all. By the way I just survived my 61st year today officially, and I am going to let me eat cake.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

The cake is a lie ;)

And happy birthday!

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie

LastLoup's picture
Member since:
6 April 2010
Last activity:
7 min 41 sec

And hey, the sum of 61 is 7 so maybe it will be a lucky year for you ;)

...I forgot how I got here but everyone seems to be heading off in that direction. I hope someone brought food. I have a feeling this is going to be a long journey................

emlong's picture
Member since:
18 September 2007
Last activity:
1 hour 36 min

This last year was very lucky. I'm spoiled.
For my birthday supper last night dessert was an obscenely large piece of carrot cake with a buttery icing.

red pill junkie's picture
Member since:
12 April 2007
Last activity:
1 day 29 min

Carrot cake is definitely one of my favorites ^__^

It's not the depth of the rabbit hole that bugs me...
It's all the rabbit SH*T you stumble over on your way down!!!

Red Pill Junkie
_______________
@red_pill_junkie