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A year older

September 26, 2006|by RYAN WILLARD

It's funny looking back at birthday parties.

I remember being 5 years old, laughing with friends I don't have now, being tickled to death when seeing the Red Power Ranger come down from a hill in front of me. The year after that were the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. My uncle dressed as Leonardo.

This week, for my birthday, I watched the movie "Garden State" with a few close friends. Funny how things change.

I'm amazed to think that I've changed as much as I have. I used to like the Power Rangers? Now I'm watching a movie about an emotionally void young man who got his life changed by a piece of plastic? What does this change mean?

It all must mean something. I like to think that there is a reason for us to change drastically.

I've thought about it for quite some time, and maybe it's not change in the way I used to think of change.

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Think of life as if it were a chalkboard - a really, really, really big chalkboard. You start life and being learning, writing everything on the chalkboard. You grow older, liking more and more things, having new opinions on things. Whether it's political or religious or whatever, those fresh opinions are like fresh chalk on a new piece of the board.

But then again, that doesn't mean the old opinions are erased. Maybe they're forgotten in favor of newer opinions written higher on the board. But not gone forever. I mean, I still like watching mutated turtles karate-chop villains.

I think the child in me helps who I am now. When I'm older, today's teenaged version of me will help the more mature me, and so on and so forth until I die - writing new and fancier things very high up on the chalkboard and getting my hands messy with chalk.

It's funny looking back on things that maybe haven't changed so much.

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