Last week, my birthday took me one step closer to 40, more than late enough in the day to consider myself middle-aged. That's halfway toward 80, an age I'm not convinced I'll reach. Ergo, it's more than possible I'm halfway through my personal turn on this mortal coil, and although I was sure for decades that I'd have "worked my life out by now," the honest truth is that I haven't, not at all.
I'm happy for the highs but still held prisoner by thoughts and memories of the lows. There's times I know I should've turned left when I turned right, people I should've stayed in touch with, projects I should've pursued much earlier, and opportunities missed that I'll never get again. But that's what life is, for all of us. The richest person in the world can't wind the clock forward or backward to change the past or secure the future. We can all only do what we choose to in the here and now. Face challenges, or run from them. Ignore the chances, or take them. Live safe, or take risks. All of which leads to the ultimate concept of mastering your own future. You can't predict who or what you'll be, but you can take active steps toward or away from personal fate, which is half chance anyway.
Afterparty, the latest release from Oxenfree's Night School Studio, has its own questions about some of these themes, which feature in a bizarre tale of two young friends, their premature deaths, and a crazy drinking contest held in the inner circle of hell. How did Milo and Lola end up on the wrong side of the pearly gates? And is it ever too late to get a second chance? Open a bar tab and let's find out.