Today I turned 31 which of course causes swirls of insecurities and visions of my own mortality to plague my brain. I am in Bolton Landing on Lake George where I stand at a trifecta of contemplative thought; I am saying goodbye to my youth on Lake George, questioning my move from the Adirondacks to the Midwest, and overwhelmed (suddenly) by my work responsibilities.
The last boat ride, a waverunner cutting through the afternoon water, winning games of shuffle-board at the Brass Ring, and leaping off the top of the boathouse. I know they will all be waiting for me next year but for the first time since childhood it doesn’t feel like “I’ll see you later.” This feels like “goodbye.” Maybe it is because I live half way across the country? Maybe because I know it is impossible for me to come back till next summer? Maybe I’m just emotionally regressing into childhood emotions for a moment to set aside my new adult responsibilities. Maybe.
As we bumbled down 9N through Bolton Landing last night at five past Midnight, my birthday was officially upon us. The crowd at the Ring bellowed out onto the sidewalk as music, fun, and 2 for 1 drinks awaited them back inside as they took smoke breaks. There they were. The town we had lived with for 2 years. It continued seamlessly without us. I suddenly asked myself “did our move to Wichita achieve us the stability we needed but rob us of something that made us truly happy?” I missed Bolton Landing, Lake George, the people, the mood, the everything. There is no answer to this question yet as only time will tell, and our ability to adapt and seek the good in what we do.
The question still lingers.
My splash-filled Lake George birthday weekend is over. It is 8:27 AM and the sound of a waverunner doing laps around Basin Bay fills the air. The sky is dark gray and everything is saturated with tiny raindrops. I have a flight to catch. I have to go to Buffalo. Gray Buffalo. Industrial Buffalo. Where my work for this week waits Buffalo. There is a knot in my belly and it’s name is “Buffalo.” I have to go to back to work, and as hard as everything has been up till now it is about to get even harder. I have 11 weeks on the road between now and the end of the year.
I am 31 today, I have a beer-gut, I have massive job responsibilities with hundreds counting on me, I am married, and I am about to become a father. Kate walks across the room and kisses me, she says “Happy Birthday.” I look over at her and implore, “do I look fat?” The question still lingers.