Today is my birthday. This planet has gone around the sun (redacted) times since first I appeared upon it.
I must admit, that (redacted) number gives me a little pause. Not for the reasons you might think, though. Unlike some actors, I’m not particularly worried about how that (redacted) number might make people think I’m old – I am old, dammit, and if I do say so myself I think I’m in half-way decent shape for a man aged (redacted). It’s not the number of the years itself – I’ve lived through, hell I’ve earned, every one of them. No, it’s the content of those years that weighs upon a person every time they know they’ve taken one more trip around the sun. Or more accurately, what we perceive as the lack of content.
One more trip around the sun, and I still haven’t booked a Broadway gig.
One more trip around the sun, and I still haven’t had a professional production of one of my scripts.
One more trip around the sun, and I still haven’t been published.
One more trip around the sun, and I’m still in the same place.
And this is just my own private, personal insecurities here. The whole planet takes the trip around the sun with me, of course. And looking at this world of ours after (redacted) years is an even more depressing prospect.
All these trips around the sun, and economic inequality is worse than ever.
All these trips around the sun, and racism and sexism still exist.
All these trips around the sun, and we haven’t found a better way for powering our lives than burning everything we can possibly dig out of the ground.
All these trips around the sun, and we still haven't realized that despotism is not a good thing.
All these trips around the sun, and now the corrupt real-estate tycoon we all used to mock is…well, you know.
Looking back can’t help but be depressing. And yet, we move forward anyway. Our hopes and dreams have merit, and there is but one way to realize them. Taking the leap of faith that each fresh chance might be the one that actually changes the outcome - for ourselves, our communities, our country, our planet. We can never know how far we are from our destination, but we can still do what we can to head towards it.
And so, once more around the sun.
Posted on January 23, 2017
by Michael C. O'Day