Been thinking abit more about life and death recently.
Was at the hospital the other day and saw babies sleeping soundly in cots that are lined up in neat rows. So cute, so peaceful. We were all almost equal when we were born. And yet, as we pass through life, we become so different, and the difference gets accentuated over time… until the day we die, and in death, we are all equal again.
There is this article from NYTimes that I really like. It says “What you Learn in your 40s”, but I feel that it is what I’m learning now. Some excerpts:
• There are no grown-ups. We suspect this when we are younger, but can confirm it only once we are the ones writing books and attending parent-teacher conferences. Everyone is winging it, some just do it more confidently.
• There are no soul mates. Not in the traditional sense, at least. In my 20s someone told me that each person has not one but 30 soul mates walking the earth. (“Yes,” said a colleague, when I informed him of this, “and I’m trying to sleep with all of them.”) In fact, “soul mate” isn’t a pre-existing condition. It’s an earned title. They’re made over time.
• You will miss out on some near soul mates. This goes for friendships, too. There will be unforgettable people with whom you have shared an excellent evening or a few days. Now they live in Hong Kong, and you will never see them again. That’s just how life is.
• More about you is universal than not universal. My unscientific assessment is that we are 95 percent cohort, 5 percent unique. Knowing this is a bit of a disappointment, and a bit of a relief.
• But you find your tribe. Jerry Seinfeld said in an interview last year that his favorite part of the Emmy Awards was when the comedy writers went onstage to collect their prize. “You see these gnome-like cretins, just kind of all misshapen. And I go, ‘This is me. This is who I am. That’s my group.’ ” By your 40s, you don’t want to be with the cool people; you want to be with your people.
So true the one about no grown-ups, how soul mates are made over time and how you’ll never see unforgettable people with whom you’ve shared an excellent evening or a few days with. And about finding your tribe.