Seat 8B, middle seat right before the exit row. Cramped quarters with non-reclining seat, something familiar to what was once a common occurrence in my days as a management consultant. The band Keane playing on the headset, the game Bejeweled jangling on the portable media player. Something seems to feel the same as what I once knew before, something nostalgic.
What happens to us as we age? For some, there is utter resistance, mid-life crises and “boy never grows up” syndromes. For others, there is utter resignation, “wise before your years” and “old soul” designations. For most, there is a waxing and waning between resistance and resignation, resulting in a push-and-pull of youth and age, often settling uneasily at an "up-to-the-minute" current yet ever-evolving state of mind.
For me, my settling is into another life far beyond what once was this experience so reminiscent in seat 8B. No longer single but happily married. No longer restless but settled. No longer wandering bachelor but breadwinner. Yet the words strangely flow again like they once did, emotional pangs registered through emo stirrings that Keane is apt to produce. The life I once led is still nearby, and I am reminded that we never grow old as much as grow deeper and more complex as the years pass. I don’t know what to make of this rumination, but I will settle for the comfort that this feeling brings: connection to my former self and completeness to my psyche.