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Reflections on Turning 30

When I turned 20, a friend of mine said I was lucky to still be alive.

His exact words were,

“Luck to the next 20.”

Well, now I’m 30.

And you might call it luck,

I guess.  I could think of some other words for it.

But here I sit.  Some things have changed.

Some things have not.

I still use the same font.  I still think like I’m 23 years old.  I still love cats and hip hop.

I don’t still grill chicken with English muffins and peanut butter.

I don’t write spoken word. I write quantitative clinical psychology research articles.

I don’t play the drums anymore.  I went back to Jiu-Jitsu this year but immediately hurt my shoulder.

I don’t still lift weights 6 days a week.  I don’t take workout supplements;

creatine, caffeine, beta alanine, taurine, DiArginine Malate, Citrulline Malate, BCAAs, whey, casein.

In fact, I hardly make it to the gym.  I make music now.  I teach meditation now.

I’m still in love with the stars.  I still want my ashes spread in the Pigme Redwood grove in Big Sur.

I now care about the planet.  I care about you; so, so, much.  It’s actually hard to put into words

how much I care about you.  I’ve seen things that have changed me forever.

I know we’re the same.  I forgive you.  Believe it or not.  Really, I have.

I’m hoping too that you can forgive yourself..

I have a cat now.  I love her more than words.  She’s like me.

She loves her alone-time but needs to be held sometimes.

I’ve learned her language and we talk now.

I don’t go to therapy anymore.  I haven’t been in several months now.

I haven’t blogged in probably a year.  My apologies to those that follow me.  Things will change.

I stopped getting Muscle and Fitness magazine,

although I taught a case manager at work how to do a proper squat today.

I’m a pretty good therapist, I think.  My clients love me.  And I tend to love them.

(Don’t tell anyone.)

Doug is dead.  Overdose.  I’m still crying.  I’m still angry.  It’s still hard.

I’m still scared to talk about it.  I wrote a song about it.

A.J. won’t return my calls.  I still haven’t talked to Stu or Gabe in years.

Kev and I are cool though.  I seem him regularly and that’s my brother.

I’m still scared of growing up; still scared of dying without doing the right things.

I still don’t know what the right thing is.  And I’m still a bit impatient.

I can dance now!  Oh boy do I dance!  No more paralysis.  No more hiding.

I’m okay being out in front.  I’m okay knowing that you’re looking.

I’ve lost some friends.  I’ve gained some friends.

I allow myself to love and be loved.  I’m walking through fears now.

I still wear Sauconys, and still keep them arranged in a very specific way.

I still have to double check the stove and the car lock.  I still make the clicking noise with my tooth.

I still read Mary Oliver.  I still read Jack Kerouac.  I still read Dostevsky.  I still go to Big Sur.

I’m going back to Thailand and Bali.

I still hate doing laundry.  I still love making people happy.

I’m now accountable; responsible.

I’m not as scared of death as I used to be.  I still flirt with Nihilism.

I’m still morbid.  But I keep that secret.

I don’t litter.  In fact, I may have picked up your litter before.

I feed the homeless now.  I volunteer my time now.

I’m still crazy.  And I still love it.  I’m still the funniest person I know.

But I’m also the person I’m the most sick of.

I’m learning to hold contradiction.  I’m learning to hold the yearning for life

and the desire for non-existence.  I’m broadening the scope of what I can hold.

This year, I’ve been with a Hindu guru at an Ashram,

an influential Buddhist meditation teacher,

a combat veteran with severe PTSD,

suicidal and chronically depressed survivors of substance abuse,

a beautiful meditation teacher with a complex trauma history,

a psychiatrist specializing in the brain and attachment,

a professor at the Center for Psychoanalysis,

a man who survived cult and ritual abuse.

I’ve had a patient commit suicide.

When I turned 20, a friend of mine said he was surprised that I was still alive.

His words exactly were,

“Luck to the next 20.”

Well, now I’m 30.

And you might call it luck,

I guess.  I could think of some other words for it.

But here I sit.

The book of my life has been a page-turner.

Each chapter,

a new incarnation….

Luck to the next 30.

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2 Comments

  1. Ah, Zack! It has been a long time my friend.
    I have to say, the meditation and the work you have done to discover yourself is always so apparent in your writing. I admire your ability to recognize changes that have occurred in your lifestyle and reflect on what you used to do regularly without sounding like you miss it… like you are bitter… Instead it just sounds like you have made a shift.
    (BUT, you are certainly missed by a certain gym-rat in the weight room!)
    You haven’t needed “luck [for] the next 20.” You built your success, your love, your strength. You balance what you love and find your work fulfilling. Your success is a testament to finding what you really want out of life and employing the tenacity needed to achieve wholeness.
    Reading this makes me feel like I’m a little caught up with your life this past year. I feel proud to have a friend like you that can teach strength, love and compassion. I have always admired your ability to share your feelings and emotions, and you always inspire me to share more of myself. Thank you for this. My adventures as ICE QUEEN are almost over, and you got the ball rolling buddy!
    You are 30 now Zacky, and my only request to you is that you keep sharing stories of your adventures and never forget those of us who have been a small part of your past. I’ll run into you in Southeast Asia soon!
    –Tiffy

  2. Well i asked for an update, and so i have it, somewhat. You are an incredible man. I have often said lately, and believe, that you can rule the world, you just need to realize it first. Life is so beautiful and it I love, it sometimes makes me cry. I still cry. I like to cry but I don’t do it as often as I used to. It is quite a release, and people seem to be attracted to the vulnerability that I express. some admire the courage of the act. I think of it simply, I do not judge myself and I do not judge you. I find that people, as a human race, are attracted to me. It is interesting. I am attracted to you. You are a great spirit. Be you. Be loose. Be open. I love you.


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