It’s not often that you can look ahead to the set time when you will die. I turned 38 years old at the end of July. It’s an odd feeling to be at the halfway point of your life (assuming I live to be around 76). Already, I feel like I have lived at least three different lives so far in these 38 years. That may seem like an odd statement, but I think it’s a fair representation of my journey.
My life and philosophy of life has changed so many times. Each change feels like the death of a former version of my life.
I have two children that are grown now. My son, Kobe, is 20, and my daughter, Sienna, is 18. Sienna will go to college later this month, and I will start over with another baby when my wife, Katie, gives birth less than a month later.
This period has been like a hard reset to my life. This feels like more than the ending of a chapter; this is the final death of the 18-year-old version of myself that was born with my first two children. It’s the end of an era for me.
In the last 18 years, I grew up with them. They had a front row seat as I’ve changed and molded myself by luck, guidance, and circumstance into a different person. The kid that held a newborn baby back then, is not the same one that will hold a newborn child this time.
I am constantly reflecting back on how I’ve done things and how those things have turned out. I like to think about the cause and effect of my decisions and the way that I have lived. Therefore, I am constantly assessing and evolving. It has been important to look back and say, “This caused that, so don’t do that again.” Or, “This is helping move you forward in a nice trajectory; keep that up.”
Seeing the cause and effect of how you’ve raised your older children is helpful in considering how to raise the next. There are things that I have learned, through stumbling in the darkness of youth and inexperience, that have (hopefully) helped me prepare for this next chapter. There are errors that were made and versions of myself that this child will not have to live through. There are things worth keeping and resurrecting.
Life is a constant state of exploration and evolution. Twelve years ago, I wrote that I was on a journey of discovery and change. This has turned out to be the one phrase that has stayed true throughout all the alterations in my life and in my way of thinking.
I am excited to see the evolution of the next 18 years and what the 56-year-old man will have to say. For now, it’s time to discover what’s in the next chapter.
Here lies Eric Overby
Born : 1984
Eric Overby lives in Russell County. You can find his poetry on Amazon and more of his writings on Instagram @mindful_stoic_poet.