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Perspective 37

Updated: Mar 16

I don’t know why, but 37 is hitting a bit different than all my other years of existence, at least that's the case in this lifetime. I mean, I don't know, is it the feeling of dread? I mean, is it the fact that I'll no longer be considered mid-thirties? It's not because age, because quite frankly, when I look at what's after the age of 37, I'm not dreading it, not 40 or even 50, (I feel as if saying 60 would have been going too far, I'm not going to guarantee anything past 13 years). So I can mark age being an issue off the list.

Is it the human race as a whole? I've recently found myself apologizing to younger generations for my being part of a generation that overall, has made our situation worse or at the very least, didn't make it any better. I say, “I’m sorry our generation failed you, like the ones before us did. But I have faith you and your generation will put us back on course. However I can help, just say the word.” Im first met with a look of shock or disbelief, like "is this real", then it's met with gratitude and understanding. And yes, the occasional blank stare and the I don't care look, but that's cool too.

Before I go any further, I want to mention that I'm about to get a little more serious for a second. This is my very honest approach to thinking this whole 37 thing out. So, here we go...

Is it school shootings? Human trafficking? The opioid epidemic? The fentanyl crisis? Flint, Michigan still not having clean water after ten years? The aftermath of the fires in Maui and the countless people who are still displaced or haven’t been accounted for?

Is it the missing and murdered indigenous women/people? And actually, did you know that in 2022, 5,487 documented cases were reported and that Native Americans and Alaskan Natives make up 40% of sex trafficking victims? Is it the Supreme Court not honoring 150 year old treaties with the Navajo Nation over water rights? Is it the Supreme Court overturning Roe V Wade? Is it the continuation of woman's rights being taken away?

Maybe it’s the Cobalt Refinery being built in Lawton. The one using an experimental process to refine minerals and the first refinery of its kind in the states. You know, the one where the City of Lawton, Lawton Economic Development Corporation, Lawton Economic Development Authority, Comanche County Industrial Development Authority and Westwin Elements continue to show no care or concern for Native land, the Tribal Nations or the residents who would be living near by, both native and non-natives alike... you know, that one?!?!

Or is it the genocide in Gaza being carried out by the Israeli Government? Government being the keyword here folks, I’m not talking about a religious city or the beliefs behind it, I’m talking about the heartless leaders carrying out brutal acts for 158 days straight now. And yes, I know Hamas is an issue, but what we're seeing here is a slaughter, a slaughter with purpose, which is the ethnic cleansing of the Palestinian people! But wait, why am I explaining myself to anyone? This is my process and how I feel and think, which is usually the best way to think and feel.

Or maybe it’s the tragic loss of our Two-Spirit Choctaw relative and who was but a CHILD, Nex Benedict, and the hate that continues to fill our state and country towards the 2SLGBTQIA+ community?

Honestly, it’s all of it and more.

Sorry, I got carried away, got caught up in the heat of the moment, a moment I seem to get caught up in a lot lately. How could one not? If you have any heart at all, you’re struggling just as much as I am.

So yea, that’s 37 to me, if that makes any sense. Which only leaves me with one question, what’s my solution? I know it's no easy task, and it'll take me constantly checking in with myself, to stay on track. Knowing that from time to time, I’ll fail and that's okay. It’s a vicious, yet beautiful cycle. It’s being human. (Side note, my hope is that in my next life I’m given a different planet with a far more advanced species to live as than this one. I’ve had the human storyline far too many times now)

What might this, Perspective 37 look like? Well, it's reminding myself to breathe (my pyschatrist's number one note for me every session) and to temporarily put myself back together, just long enough to find balance, for through balance we find harmony.

It’s quoting my dear friend, Shailah saying, “do good when you can, where you can”. Then I pull out the sage, sweet grass, cedar, anointing oil and maybe some shrooms (kidding on the shrooms...).

But that’s what we're called to do right? To do good? Sure, it’s damn near unbearable to carry all that we do and feel, but it's focusing on what we can control and how we can make a difference, which makes the load we carry, just that much lighter. But it's also giving yourself grace when you don't have the energy or means do anything, because that's okay too.

Then there’s grounding myself with nature and beauty that is this planet and all the species that occupy it (Excluding humans of course. Not sure if anyone needed the reminder of my complete distaste for mankind, but there it is). Im constantly in awe of this plane of existence and all of its unknowns. Like for instance, each time I look at the moon, I blow it a kiss, that’s how much I admire it. ( and it’s one of those cute human things that we do, like the motorcyclists who has their Labrador in a side bucket seat also wearing a helmet and wind goggles, IT WAS CUTE).

It’s reminding myself of how connected we all are to the universe and how connected it is to us. It’s knowing that we are made of the same elements as stars and how the rings on a tree stump reminds me of our fingerprints. It’s the fact that I’m 37 years old and the planet is 4.54 billion years old and the universe is 13.7 billion years old. Its knowing that we are one galaxy of possibly trillions, that have their own planetary systems, their own stars and yes potentially, their own signs of life.

It's realizing how important and unimportant our existence is, but it's also knowing to respect that existence, admire it for what it is, which is everything and nothing all at once, but it's the everything that makes life worth living.

So this is 37 and for you it may be how you view 25, 40 or whatever age you might be. The point is, we're all going through it. But if there's one thing I've learned these last few years and even from what I've learned from this reflection, is to be thankfuk for this unique experience, one where we have the option to grow and impact others. It's knowing that at the end of the day I'm the only person who needs to be okay with the way I choose to live my life and how I choose to define my unique existence. It's to continue learning from my mistakes and to always strive to do better, to do good, when I can, where I can.

PS: For months now I’ve tried to put into words how I was feeling and the evening before my 37th I wrote all this down. My hope is that it conveys a sense of humanity and vulnerability and the process of coming to a conclusion, one where I dreaded, defined and solved through this sort of journal/commentary piece. If you made it this far, thank you for reading.

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Raw and beautiful is 37. I feel this to the depths of my being. ❤️

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