I'm getting older. There's no escaping this realisation. I feel it in my bones after a long day. It aches in my stomach if I eat a couple of hot dogs. It's the years. It’s that dreadful realisation that whatever ails you is not a result of a stressful week at work or a weekend of outdoor activities... it's your body slowly, but surely, starting to give up.
Before anyone posts a comment wherein they're scolding me for being only 36 and talking about my body giving up, I am perfectly aware I am nowhere near death by natural causes. I'm not saying I am one month away from not being able to get up without assistance. I’m just noticing the wear and tear that comes with growing older. This is after all typically the age at which people usually start to notice these things. Go out with your friends in your mid 30's and get drunk, have some fun, get home in the wee hours of the morning. Next week meet those same friends for coffee. I'll bet you all the money in the world not 15 minutes will pass before one of you starts talking about how recuperating after a night of partying used to be much quicker and less painful. I don't go out partying much anymore, but on the rare occasions I do, this is the conversation I often end up having.
Ageing is like riding a train. You don't really know you’re moving until you look out the window. Only when you take a look at the world passing by do you realise how fast you’re going. Scenery changes in front of your eyes, smeared and colourful. Different vistas, opening up in front of you and disappearing quickly. If you are not paying attention, you miss them. I find myself looking out the window less and less, concerned mostly by what's directly in front of me: daily chores, perpetual financial uncertainty, my own business threatened on all sides by instabilities and fluctuations of the modern economy. This is probably why, when I finally allow myself to take a break and look up from my mobile phone planner, I find the views so different than I remember them to be. I find some beautiful sights have passed me by while the train I'm on has eaten yet another part of the track hurling to its final destination.
Only when you take a look at the world passing by do you realise how fast you’re going
“People born in the year 2000 will be allowed to vote next year” – said on one of the memes being forwarded on Facebook the other day. That's incredible.
I remember the year 2000. We were just getting over the millennium Y2K bug hype and Prince’s “Party Like It’s 1999” finally stopped playing on the radio stations. Dubrovnik was starting a new chapter with war wounds still visible, but healing rapidly. I was in college and in a band with the latter often times being more time consuming. Darkness of the nineties which left our city so broken and desolate was still palpable, but we have just entered a new millennium and we were young and untouchable. It was a great time.
Yes, I am probably jealous of the kids turning 18 in a few months’ time, but they will never know the joy of partying your way into the new millennium. Hopefully, they will never know the joy of a war ending in your hometown either.
The whole idea of this text is not to bring people down or complain about the fact I feel I’m getting older. The point is not even to tell you all to enjoy life while you can. The point is to remind myself to try and look out the window of this speeding train more often because I’m missing some great parts of my journey.
Bozidar Jukic, AKA The Restless Native, is a Dubrovnik local with too many interests to name them all, with writing being at the very top of the list. He is a lover of good food, music and film, and a firm believer in the healing power of laughter. His professional orientation is towards tourism and travel so it comes as no surprise he spends most of his time alongside Mrs. Jukic running their own local tour company. Their goal is helping travellers from all over the world get a more intimate experience of Dubrovnik and what it has to offer. To find out more about their work, visit their website or Facebook page.