Thoughts with Richard Bleil
By the time you read this, I will be over sixty. As of the writing of it, I’m still 59. Either way, I’m feeling very old. Very old, indeed.
Many years ago, circa 1985, I was in a car crash that should have ended me. Even then, I would say that if God were ready for me to have ended, She could have taken me. It’s not the only time that I died. About a decade ago (a little longer), I way laying dead on a hospital bed as they repaired my heart. So why am I still here?
I have some friends who are, for some reason, impressed with me. I’m learning circuit building and programming now, which is a clear indication that I am a lifelong learner. But I’ve always had a strong curiosity and desire to understand and learn. My current effort will help me to finally build a device that I’ve wanted to make for decades. I introduced the idea to my friend who builds circuit boards but immediately shot it down saying that it couldn’t be done, but just two weeks into this hobby kit and I can do it. The focus has changed a bit, thanks to my friend’s grandson who had a critical and life-threatening allergic reaction, so the new project will be for him, but I know how to build it, and how to program it. The prototype won’t be pretty but will be sufficient to test and see if it’s effective.
At my age, I’m continuing my theoretical research, and trying to make a difference. I have a criminal prediction project waiting for my schedule to open up. And, of course, I write this blog, with many posts on depression in the hopes that it helps some people.
But I still can’t help but wonder why I’m here. Is there a point to my life? Or am I just outdated and a burden to society? It feels like there’s nothing left for me, and tonight, I’m suddenly, and inexplicably, feeling excessively sad. I don’t know why.
Today, I’m facing problems. My inheritance is depleted, and my job doesn’t bring me enough money (of course, since it’s part-time and seasonal). Are my skills outdated? Are they of any use or am I simply outdated? I’m definitely feeling left behind.
I look at some of my new friends and their lives, and I see that I’m not one any longer. Somewhere, I grew beyond up. I’ve grown old. It feels as if I should be sitting on my porch yelling at kids and warning the damned kids to stay off of my lawn.
It hurts to feel left behind. In my twenties, I was supposed to, in my day anyway, find my mate, get married, and settle down. I’ve been in large cities and small, worked in industry and academia, went to college, and did all of those things where you’re supposed to find somebody and fall in love. I did. But it was always unrequited. There is no point in the kind of love that I’ve felt and held when it is never returned.
I’m not dead yet. I look at women and find them attractive, but I know that they don’t even see me anymore, and if they do, certainly not as a man. I’ve become a doddering old fool, and I know it. Worse than that, I feel it. Deeply. To my core. And it hurts.
Maybe my research and my projects are just a way of trying, desperately, to remain relevant. I was speaking with a friend recently about her family. She’s still close with her siblings, but she also has children, and grandchildren. Her legacy is set. If you look at all that I’ve accomplished, today they’re irrelevant and outdated. Nobody cares, but she raised children who are good people, and now they are great parents as well. They learned how to be good people and good parents from my friend. Her legacy is continuing, and even after she’s gone, her teachings will live on through her lineage even after she’s been forgotten. And me? I’ll live on as food for worms.
I’m sorry that this blog is so blue, but it reflects how I’m feeling right now, as I write this, with my birthday approaching but not quite here yet. I was asked what I’ll be doing for my birthday. My plan is to smoke a leg of lamb and eat it alone. It’s just the life I lead.