I found most of them difficult. They each brought different kinds of pain. And different challenges. And there were these trade-offs. For example in my 20s I dealt with the intense pain of my sexual obsessions. But I didn’t have to deal with the health-related pains I’d have to deal with in later periods.
Probably my 30s were the most stable period of my adulthood. I’d worked my way through a lot of the initial confusion and thrashing of being a young man on his own in this world. And had made a place for myself within it where I could grow and prosper.
My 40s were a little more rocky. More up-and-down. And the Mid-Life Crisis thing hit hard. Realizing you’re no longer a young man, no longer up-and-coming. And getting a whiff of your impending mortality for the first time. But I still had this mental and physical vitality that gave me this confidence that any problems were just temporary set-backs that I would surely overcome.
My 50s brought in this certain heaviness in my soul. Friends and acquaintances started dying all around me. Which added this serious, tragic dimension. And made my life seem more unreal and ghost-like. This sense of impermanence. Realizing nothing lasts. This innocent, light-hearted sense that I had in my youth that the world was solid and real was no longer there. It was like everything was dissolving. What had been was gone. And what replaced it wasn’t an improvement. This whole world seemed like little more than a hallucination.
And now as I plow into my 60s there’s this sense that I have much more past than future. And every day seems uncertain. As I face whatever is left for me to experience on this planet, and accept whatever the fates decree.