Im not really grumpy (or even that old. . .I think) but some things sound more profound if they come from a grizzled veteran. In all honesty I think of myself as more of a grilled veteran than a grizzled one. . but anyway, we have LISTS!
.1 there is only one way to accomplish anything in the world. Be it losing weight, becoming proficient at a skill, learning anything. There is no short cut, there is no quick way and there is no ‘natural talent’ that will make up for. . . work. Hard work. Hard repetitive, boring work. The plain fact is that for whatever reason the universe decided that for everything you get out of this life you must put something back in, in equal measure and with equal grace. Im sorry but years of caring a lot, worrying a lot, visualising, anger, desperation, cynicism wont get you even one tenth of what a few hours of hard work/practice will. The good news is that when you do earn whatever it is you have been striving for there is more than just the joy of accomplishment, there is pride of craftsmanship. In the end, it turns out that what you really wanted isnt half so pleasurable as what you went through to earn it.
.2 Smoking pot really is destructive. I didnt used to think so, in fact i used to believe (still do actually) that it would be far better to legalise marijuana and ban alcohol. I dont do drugs myself, but Ive lived long enough to meet several 40 and 50+ year olds who have smoked weed daily and while they are not the wreckage of human life that a daily drinker is, they are all. . .well. . .dopey. Its kind of sad to watch these folks i know and respect wandering through life like an ox someone brained with an ax handle. Glassy-eyed and with the mental and physical reaction time of a tree sloth these folks have one calamity after another befall them (i.e. real life) with their only ability to deal with it in the form of a forlorn “aw maaaan, that sucks.” What is so insidious is how gradually this toporific trance sneaks up on them, after years of toking up they slowly morph from laid back jesters to sprawled out Hutts. Pot, it turns out isnt necessarily a gate way to hard drugs, its a gateway to a stinky apartment, 3 months of unpaid bills, and the complete inability to do anything even remotely proactive about .. . anything.
.3 What your brain predicts is seldom, if ever, what happens. Your worst fears turn out to not be quite so bad and your fondest goals turn out to be a let down. What you want most in the world doesnt seem to satisfy and your darkest fear reveals itself to be just another turn your brain poops up. Its almost like real life doesnt even care what you and I think. its like real life is somehow always in the middle of our percieved highs and lows. if only there was some way to walk in the middle, to take some kind of middle path as it were. But what does this ‘middle way’ look like. . . . . ? Oh well i guess we’ll never know.
.4 Driving a car seems to have a magical effect on people. otherwise calm, rational folks turn into ranting juvenile assholes as soon as they close that door. Ive seen road rage incidents countless times and the common denominator is always the same, as soon as the person steps out of their car (or someone reaches in and pops them in the mouth) they get this stunned look like, “hey where did my power go!? Just a second ago i was king of the world and now some skinny bike rider guy has rearranged my bicuspids with a u-lock. . . ” I imagine its sort of how a hermit crab would geel if you popped him out of his shell, all the sudden his soggy weak ass is hanging for the world to see. A car, it seems, is like giving everyone in the world a suit of armor and a gun, despite the bizarre utopia the NRA espouses it turns out that giving any idiot over the age of 16 the means to drive over other people doesn’t result in a ‘polite society” but instead a nation of childish hatred and insularity. Ride a bike for a week and I promise you will feel like the only sane person left on the planet.
.5 Language is, at best, a way to convey the wondrous complexity of the universe into a form that, hopefully, can inform another of your particular unique experience without the need for them to actually share your brain. In person language can do this tolerably well because the words themselves are given life via tone, volume, gesture, timing, bearing and all the other tiny things that make a face to face conversation so compelling. Some writers can do nearly as well with the written word, though even the best wordsmiths can only convey half of what any live person can in a few spoken lines. So when you then take that incomplete experience and compress it further into texting or email you lose all but the simplest factual information and even that reads as somehow mysterious and arcane. If you have ever had an argument or disagreement viea text or email you can attest to how it is nearly useless to try to convey anything! One ends up being more frustrated at the fact that your point is simply misunderstood than whatever the argument was about! At the same time we humans find it much eaier to be douche-bags via the typed word then in person. In my own life I have tried to institude the 2 text rule, if what we are discussing requires the both of us to text more than twice then its time for a phone call instead.