This day marks the night of a foiled plot by Guy Fawkes to assassinate the British Protestant King and replace him with a Catholic, all whilst attempting to blow up Parliament. Even present day, it is celebrated with the spirit of rebellion…a fight against what we are told we want, need, and otherwise are supposed to strive for.
I am a huge consumer of this idea of where we are supposed to be…in our lives at a certain point, a certain age. I say often that now, at the age of 32, I am supposed to be able to put a down payment on a home. I am supposed to have a career, not a job. I am supposed to be thinking about ridiculous pre-school costs and what I’m cooking for dinner for my family, cursing at toys I kick on the living room floor. At this age, my mother was pregnant with her fourth child. Yes, yes, a different time back then. But my friends are pregnant with their first, second, or have given birth to their third. Am I the rebel, or them?
Instead, tonight I picked up my folded laundry from the mean Chinese man across the street, watched two 30 Rocks on Hulu, and am on my third glass of Chardonnay. Heck, I don’t even like Chardonnay. Maybe I AM a rebel.
I suppose everything just comes when it’s supposed to, there is no need for rebels. When the time is right….at a point in your life when you can handle it, can accept it, can work with it, embrace it, and mold it to fit like Play-doh. We are all at different speeds. It’s not a sprint, it’s a marathon, I’m often told. It’s not about where you’re going, but where you are, the present day. Maybe the rebellion is not settling for what we’re handed, but demanding more than we’re given.
Thoreau said , “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
Indeed, my pace is slower than I wished for as a wide-eyed child, when I saw 32 as ancient and I was in awe of all the wisdom that one must have in their immense brains after living so many decades. Instead, this 32 has been full of pauses, missteps, stops and false starts, only to be called back to the beginning of the chalk-lined track. My drummer is in the far back of the orchestra – the low, consistent brummmmmm, hardly heard, that is the foundation for the whole band. I am the timpani. Barely struck…the slow, awkward instrument, that is distant, quiet…but, I’d like to think, necessary to keep the music paced. It’s because I’ve demanded and deserved more than average. Others have been lucky and have received their dreams earlier. I have struggled, and many have struggled far more than I can comprehend. You are lucky in some ways, unlucky in others, you win some you lose some, sometimes you just rebel against the very idea of the status quo… and instead try to blow up Parliament.