Another article about my birthday that I published eight years ago. Update: Still working on telling that story. 


In a few days, I will turn 45 years old. A momentous occasion I have decided. It officially marks my exact middle age. I am officially halfway through.

See, the men in my family do not usually live into their 90s or beyond. Sure, you get the occasional long-lifer who bucks the odds, but the majority die in their 70s or 80s. My own father died in his 60s. Granted a great deal of these men were, how shall I say? Hard lifers. And I have given up a great deal of the habits that would account for my early demise. Still, mathematically speaking, 90 is a good round number to put on a lifespan such as mine.

None of this is meant to be morbid or depressing mind you; just a rational assessment of the situation. I fully realize that this is an arbitrary and self-imposed moment of significance. And understand I am not opposed to “extra innings” as it were, I’m just being realistic. And realism states that in a few days I will reach the mid-way point of my life.

So where am I? Halfway through what is the thing they call “me”?

I am Father. First and foremost; this is the one thing that I am most proud of and strive more than anything else to become better at.

I am Husband. A thing I admit could and should be better at.

I am Son. Something I forget about but always hope I am being good at.

I am Brother. A younger one. This means that my older sibling is both annoying and revered at the same time. And that I am tolerated and perhaps cherished.

And I am Uncle and Cousin and Nephew. In all of these familial obligations, I have been distant and forgetful.

But these things are not what I am.

I have been a best man and a worst enemy. I have been a good friend and a disappointment. I have been extremely compassionate and unusually cruel. I have loved and been loved more deeply than a man should have the right. I have known friendship on a level that I did not deserve and known hatred at times when it was both undeserved and understandable. I have made people laugh and made people cry. I hope that the former outweighed the latter. I am a writer and an artist. I am a creator. I am brilliant and lovely and I am self-indulgent and pretentious. I have been called funny and engaging. I have been called annoying and tedious. I have been selfish to people I love and generous to people I hardly know. I have been called kind. I have been called an asshole. I have failed more times than I succeeded but my successes far outweigh my failures.

But these things are not what I am.

I am halfway through and I don’t know what I am.

So then let me put pen tip to paper and scratch out letters in a smeared rushed script. And hope and hope that it may someday spell out something.

Can I tell you a story? I think the first half was for learning. The second is for stories.

I’m halfway through and I haven’t told my story yet. I suppose it is time to tell it.


Originally published April 27, 2014