“now I long for yesterdays…”

“Yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away…”

Hello 20. Big number. End of the teens. Beginning of the twenties (obviously). This has got to be one of THE big crossroad ages for a person… Because at 10, I’m pretty sure kids don’t think they’ve reached an age apex or anything of the sort like that. Anyhow, here I am at the precipice… in 19 hours, I’ll officially be 20 years of age… but for all intensive purposes, I am now 20 years of age.

Three songs of note brought in the occasion in my mind. “Let That Be Enough” by Switchfoot, “Champagne Supernova” by Oasis, and “Yesterday” by the immortal Beatles. Each has it’s own story to tell.

“Let That Be Enough” is uncertainty. It’s the idea of complete helplessness and disarray, mentally and metaphorically. “Yeah, who am I? I’m just a kid who knows he’s needy…” There’s even a line in the lyric about birthdays: “It’s my birthday tomorrow… no one here could know… I was born this Thursday 22 years ago…”

That’s always a fear. That you won’t be remembered… that people would never know you truly or so much as remember your birthday. Thankfully, that isn’t the case and I’ve been blessed with such fine friends and family. Thankfully, there is a solution to the crisis, the God-shaped hole. “Let me know that You’re near me… let me know Your touch… let me know that You love me… let that be enough…”

“Champagne Supernova” starts with a question; perfect for someone entering a new chapter in life. “How many special people change? How many lives are living strange?” And there is our greatest fear: that people change; people we love, people we hate, and of course, ourselves. Life is full of changes. But at the same time, in this very circumstance, there’s a contradiction. Life is full of those too, by the way. But check it out: we all want to change to adapt and grow and mature, right? But at the same time, we want to stay the same and preserve our child-like innocence and our wide-eyed awe, to stay away from cynicism and cold-hearted religion. Yes, the answer is, we all change. But to what effect? That’s up to you to answer. So Oasis, how many people change, you ask? Everyone does.

I’ve also been thinking… what does 20 mean in terms of the actual getting old part? Well, it’s like… a mountain of ideas, bills, and jobs, falling like an avalanche. So I guess, at 20, we all set out for adulthood. It’s another journey, filled with cars, trucks, and RV’s… I don’t know how that made sense, but oh well. The point is, sometimes, as we grow up, we get lost in the shuffle of paperwork, and the noise of machinery and car motors. But maybe, just maybe “someday you will find me caught beneath the landslide of a champagne supernova in the sky…” Well, there. That’s that.

And finally, after the noise, there’s “Yesterday,” the bittersweet love-lost ballad of Paul McCartney and the Beatles. The lyrics speak for themselves:

“Yesterday… all my troubles seemed so far away… now it looks as though they’re here to stay… oh I believe in yesterday…

“Suddenly… I’m not half the man I used to be… there’s a shadow hanging over me… oh, yesterday came suddenly…”

“… now I long for yesterday…”

Getting older really makes one think. Think about life as it’s transpired to this point. Think about the joys of summer days gone by, spent whiling away the hours watching cartoons, rolling around in a grassy field, or swimming in a nice cold pool. Think about the hardships of the formative years, the school projects, the panic attacks, or the slow passing of time until a driver’s license is acquired. Think about the hardships after that, the painstakingly arduous job search, the managing of bills, or the separations from childhood friends. Think about a future of retirement, or possibly more labor.

But I don’t know a single person who doesn’t long for yesterday… and smile at the memories, both good and bad.

And so, as I write my rambling thoughts on my 20th birthday, I want to thank friends and family for being so supportive and shaping me into who I am. I want to thank God for giving me the breath in my lungs. And as we all charge forward into the horizon, let’s not forget to look back with thankfulness and look forward with hope.


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