I had just woken up and retrieved the morning’s paper when I noticed a man staring at me. He was wearing a worn, grey suit jacket with a black and blue checkered tie. His shirt was a plain white and had been loosely tucked into a pair of wrinkled, off-grey khakis. He had an unathletic build and his unkempt hair did a poor job at attempting to conceal his shrinking hairline. Our eyes met in a moment that seemed to make time stand still. He looked familiar but was unknown to me; like a lost dog had come home after so many years. His deep blue eyes cut right through mine and exposed my vulnerability. He seemed to acknowledge the familiarity but his apparent surrender to apathy held him back from reminiscing about how we might have once known each other. His tired, sun-scarred face blurred together as my mind drifted elsewhere…
I knew this man when he was younger. I used to know him well. When I knew him he was happy; excited for life. He seemed like he couldn’t wait to delve into the world and make a difference. It had been so long I couldn’t even remember what it was he was so passionate about. But when I saw him then I knew he had changed. Life had not been kind to him. This was a defeated man; a man whose only driving force was expectations from western society. Monotany had taken control.
I remember this day because it was the last day I saw him. He doesn’t exist to me anymore, time has taken him away. The boy I once knew was gone and in his place was a man who appeared lost. I wish I could go back to this day when I still recognized him. I wish there was still time to save him from an unfulfilled life.
Everyday remind yourself who you are, what you want, and how you’re going to get it. Or one day you’re going to look in the mirror and not recognize who’s looking back at you.