There’s a question I like to ask people – with a reference only gamers may understand, but I’ll try my best to explain it.
In many games, you can save your progress whenever you like, so if you die or screw up, you can simply reload and restart at the last point at which you “saved”. Let’s assume real life had this feature, but that you only had ONE save-slot, meaning that every time you saved your progress, it would erase all previous saves.
In practical terms, you can think of it like a marker that you can place at any given point on the timeline of your life, but it can only be moved forward in time. When you choose to cash-in this marker and revert to a previous point in your life, the future ahead of this marker is also erased (excluding only your memory of it), and you are forced to live again from the point where you set the marker.
“Where would you set this marker,” has always been a tough question for me, given certain regrettable decisions I’ve made, because there’s always a cost/benefit analysis to be considered between the prices we pay and the benefits we gain – whether they be experiential, social, or physical.
On Wednesday, I turn 34, and for the first time in a LONG time, I think I’ll move the save-state marker up to the present. I truly feel that I’m in my physical, intellectual, and emotional prime, and I’m surrounded by people and circumstances that are both infinitely conducive to my happiness.
Sure, while certain prices have been paid, things and people lost, failures endured, difficult choices made, and scars acquired, I don’t think there’s a single time in my life that I’ve been healthier and happier, both, than I am right now, and that’s a really, really good feeling.
I’m ready for 34, and for whatever comes next… even if I’m still flying by the seat of my pants.