I have been waiting my whole life to feel like an adult, thinking that at some point I would feel differently, that I’d cross some imaginary line and feel grown up. But that day has never come, and as I’m cresting the hill and looking at seventy just down the road, it has gradually dawned on me that it is never going to come. I will always feel twelve.
That people perceive me as an adult strikes me as a cosmic joke. When I was in my forties and learning to fly, I’d rent an airplane, and as I walked out on the tarmac with the keys in my hand, I’d get this rush. Holy shit! They just gave me the keys to a friggin’ airplane! Don’t they know I’m twelve? This is crazy! Crazy fun. Crazy exciting. Crazy thrilling. As I’d do my preflight inspection, I’d summon all my attention because I didn’t want to blow my cover. I knew if they realized I was twelve, they’d run out and take the keys away from me. Taxiing down the runway. Talking to the tower. All of it was absolutely delicious. Why? Because I’m twelve, and I’m flying an airplane!
Being perceived as an adult definitely has its advantages. People listen when I talk. I get respect that they might not give a young person. When I say something, people think I know what I’m talking about, even though sometimes I don’t. It’s just because the words are coming out of a sixty-five-year-old mouth, and people don’t realize a twelve-year-old is speaking them. Even children obey me. They don’t know that I’m only a couple of years older than them.
Before we bought the farm from Geneva, I remember her exclaiming one day out in the yard, “I’m eighty-two, and I don’t know how I got here.” Now I understand. I’m sixty-five, and I don’t know how I got here.
What age do you feel?
Amor fati. Love what is. Everything is beautiful, but not everyone sees the beauty. Our work is to refine our vision so that we can see the Truth - the perfection in life as it is. Sometimes our greatest lessons come from our hardest experiences. Every moment is an opportunity to learn and to love.