The 10 Year Mark

So this evening, the wife and I drove around the valley to spend some quality time with each other, and be away from our computer overlords.  During the drive, we noticed how much downtown had changed since we had last been there. We talked about the places that were no longer there, and how the empty lots were now buildings. Downtown Phoenix had morphed into a place that we barely recognized. She remarked that it only had been a year and a half since we had ventured there – yet the place was not what we recalled.

As I was driving, I started to recall my high points and pleasant memories in downtown. 2010 was when I really started to meld into the vibe of the city. In the time that followed, I found myself all over the map. Construction was a constant sight, and with new little restaurant & coffee houses always popping – every moment was something new. While it wasn’t the LA scene, it was laced with a different kind of freedom & perspective. This was my thirties, and it eventually set up the path I would follow today. My lasting friendships, personal bonds, and aspirations were established then. It was there that I gained a focus for my writing, learned that I loved event management, and finally knew what I wanted to do when I grew up. Ten years – one decade worth of time created all of that.

The realization that the downtown we knew was just a memory sort of grew into another odd theory. What if you are only allowed ten years in a given scene? Then after the ten years, it changes on purpose to ensure that you don’t remain in the memories of youth. The scene morphs to force you into next phase of your life.

I explained this insanity to my wife as we took the long way back home. In Elementary & Middle School, you make friends and are presented tons of possibilities for the future (some seemingly impossible & others uncomfortably easy to attain). Those bonds and foundation rarely last. They becomes an example of what you don’t want for yourself. Instead you dream about the next big & better thing. With High School and your early 20s, your established mindset is challenged, your future is upended, and new bonds are created. It’s also the time of freedom (with limits) and wild happiness.

And that, I think, was the handle — that sense of inevitable victory over the forces of Old and Evil. Not in any mean or military sense; we didn’t need that. Our energy would simply PREVAIL. There was no point in fighting — on our side or theirs. We had all the momentum; we were riding the crest of a high and beautiful wave…

Hunter S. Thompson
Fear & Loathing in Las Vegas

The drive made me look at these watermarks in a different light. Our lives are a series of ten year marks in a given place or scene. You will always look back to those places, and realized you cannot go back. They will not be what you once knew, because the City & Places you called your own want you to move forward. They are a living, breathing entities cultivating your life. They don’t want you to linger in the past. The City raises us, to teach us more about ourselves, and to shape our minds for the time ahead; the next ten year mark – that next scene.

As I explained this ten year mark theory, I told her that I needed to write this down. So here I am – capturing my insanity into the written word. To end this – I’m not sure what this next scene has in store for me, but I hope the next ten years will be a fond memory in the time ahead. I just hope you enjoy the ride.


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