Thursday, November 27, 2014


Turning 35. Wow. That means I'm about to reach that border land age on surveys before it turns over into people kinda but not really caring what you think about products unless it's for your kids. Whoa.


There is a belief that every seven years the human body goes through a cycle of rebirth. That every cell in our bodies becomes brand new and we pretty much have a whole, new form.** This brings me to the old thought experiment of the Ship of Theseus or the Theseus Paradox.

"The ship wherein Theseus and the youth of Athens returned from Crete had thirty oars, and was preserved by the Athenians down even to the time of Demetrius Phalereus, for they took away the old planks as they decayed, putting in new and stronger timber in their places, in so much that this ship became a standing example among the philosophers, for the logical question of things that grow; one side holding that the ship remained the same, and the other contending that it was not the same."
—Plutarch, Theseus

Essentially, the experiment asks if you replace the pieces of a ship piece by piece but assembled in exactly the same way, it it the same ship or a totally new vessel?

I'm not sure about the ship. I don't know if it is now truly different but I can answer that question for me. 

And yes. Very much yes.

No, because I'm still the same person at my core that I have always been. I still have hope that the world can be better than it is. I still trust people more than I should sometimes. I believe that science has the potential to allow us to do anything. I'm still boyishly handsome. *** I still like geeky things and am always excited for what the next thing I've never read before is going to be.

Yes, because the things at the top of my priorities lists are still there but they have shifted around. Some of the things I would argue for or against have committed a complete 180. My faith in humanity has declined and risen and declined again.

35 years of dealing with humans can do that.

I appreciate the things that are the same about me and the differences that have arisen over the years. Sean at 7, 14, 21 and 28 are different dudes with the same inner being. 28 year old Sean was definitely a VERY different guy in that crowd. 

He was also, apparently, a ninja from Shaolin. Not the temple but Staten Island.

As I approach this personal liminal time of year for me, I often look back on what has led me to this new year of being, as I imagine a lot of people do. That often turns into an intense dissection of my life choices swiftly moving into personal judgments of my shortcomings shifting down into wondering if my choices have negatively affected the bad choices of some of my family and comparisons to my friends and age-specific peers.
Me and this dude are the same age and he is married to Lisa Bonet. Are we even the same species?

This all, ultimately, spirals down into me being depressed about where I am, how I look, what I haven't done and a wish to return to 9th grade so I could make myself do crunches, stay in, write, not listen to what people wanted/expected to me to be and stop pining over random girls who won't be interested in me and look at the ones that were actually interested. 

But not this year. This hasn't been my best year but I think it has definitely been one of the years with the most inner growth. I have done all the stuff that I just listed and I have definitely traveled down a dark road or two with the line of thought described above. You can ask a few friends I have been drunk with about those moments. But I've also, and this is fairly recent, come to appreciate the better qualities I possess. Sure, I make stupid decisions sometimes but they are mine to make and maybe they aren't stupid but just silly seeming now. Maybe my subconscious is guiding me more than I thought.

My path is not the same as my friends or family or even what people think it should be. I have to live for myself. I got stuff to work on and improve but so does everyone. There are things I want and things I have learned that I want and I know I have to change and/or adjust my thought processes to attain them. I'm committed to that, with a little of the old "Sean sucks" mentality.**** I have potential and can do amazing things. Just gotta do 'em.

I think this next year can be great for me. No. Will be great. I have to embrace aspects of the new/potential me (completing things, communicating better) and definitely have to tap into the good stuff from the past versions of me (hope, confidence bordering on cockiness). If I get all this together, I foresee a great adult. Gotta get that balance. It's about time.

Happy Birthday, dude!

I'm gonna make the rest of my life as good as I possibly can. 


*I went back and forth over that title. It was a tossup which included Adultish, 35 Years Young and Gray Hair, Don't Care.

**Some people also say it's ten and science calls "bullshit" because our bodies are in a constant state of cell death and/or birth. Neither of these works with my post so I'm sticking to seven years. Suck it, science.

***These are just facts, people.

****I'm not going to say none because a)I know myself and b)I also use some of those darker moments as fuel to do stuff.

1 comment:

Venus Brady said...

Screw all those forms with age range menus.
Yes, he is of a different species, and so is Lisa Bonet. I cope by just looking at them longingly.
Congrats on being a damn fine* human being. You're amazing. Happy New Year!
*take that both ways