Is It Too Late To Be Young?

I read a post today that got me thinking.  It got me thinking so much, I felt I needed to go on and on about it for a while.  It was written by a young man (young to me, but perhaps not so young if you read his post) in his 20’s, who, like me, is kind of at one of those cross-roads we all come across.  Please be sure to check out his post, it’s quite good.  I started this blog here as my venting point for being at an age where I can no longer comfortably call myself a kid, but it still weirds me out to call myself an adult.  (Ok, ok, as an obnoxoius 4th grader I told my less intelligent peers I was already an adult, far superior to them at the time, but I don’t think that can be held against me.)  I managed to slip through my 20’s by dodging adult hood yet embracing it when it was required of me.  (Yes, I have a job, an apartment, and a car that doesn’t require a screwdriver to access the passenger side door.)  I did the things I had to do, but somehow managed to avoid the big steps.  (No wife, no kids, no mortgage.)  To me, 30 is the vantage point in which looking back is useless and looking ahead is scary.  Like the upward climb on a roller coaster, it’s just safer to lock your gaze on the moment because looking around is going to bug you out!  In 66 days, I hit 31.  Shit.  I don’t want to think about that, let alone 40, so I’m just going to keep my eyes locked and try not to look around too much.

So here’s the problem I run into.  I am always a step behind the rest of the herd.  Let me explain.  As a kid, when all the new toys and gadgets came out, I was usually the last to get my hands on them.  I still had a Gameboy when the rest of society had moved onto Game Gear (I think that’s what it was called…it was in color, I know that.)  I had a Walk-Man while everyone else had a Disc-Man.  (Remember cassette tapes?)  As cell phones made their way into our world, I was still walking around with a pager.  People were always asking me if I was “on-call.”  MySpace instead of Facebook, 3G instead of 4G, you get the point.  This has also been evident in my development as a human being as well.  While my friends and associates were all busy living up their 20’s, I was still a brooding, angsty teen-ager through those years.  I managed to drag my heels long enough that I never really experienced my 20’s, leading me to today where I try to balance the reality of 30 with the fantasy of re-living my 20’s.  Unfortunately, physically, I am 30.  I can still be on my feet all day at work, but when I come home, sitting is my new past-time.  Going to the gym is less of a hobby and more of a chore, one that I avoid more often than I should.  People I work with (many still in high school or their early years of college) scare me when they say the have never heard of Ferris Bueller or that they can’t believe there was a time when all you got was a busy signal when trying to connect to the internet.  (Yeah AOL 4.0, you changed my life.)  And yeah, I remember Transformers when it was just a cartoon!

So what do I do?  A lot of people like to say things like, the 30’s are the new 20’s!”  So does that mean I am ok and I can still have those moments or irresponsible abandon where I stay out all night, try to shave in the car on my way to work, and hope the boss doesn’t notice I didn’t shower?  Sometimes I wish I could pull that off, but it seems like these days I struggle to make it past 9:00 without falling asleep on my couch.  They say you are only as old as you feel, but what happens when you really do feel as old as you are?  I drink coffee now, not to stay awake, but because I actually enjoy it.  How did that happen?!  The kid in me still enjoys watching cartoons or reading an issue of Spider-Man, but then the adult in me kicks me in the ass and asks why I am watching cartoons instead of finding a wife.  Me, married?  Yeah, I want a wife, a kid, a dog and the house with the fence, but I also want to watch Star-Wars in 3D or sit in the bleachers at Yankee Stadium with all the other obnoxious drunks.

I have friends who are engaged, friends who are married, friends who have kids, and even friends who have gotten as far as divorce already.  They all did this before 30, or at least very soon after.  I haven’t even had a steady girlfriend since, well, it’s been a while.  I’d like to find a woman who is interested in marriage and all that good stuff, but I am afraid all the ones my age have already been gobbled up and I may be reaching that point where hanging out with college girls is just plain creepy.  As much as I’d like to pretend I can hang with that crowd, I should be looking for a woman who clips coupons, not one with a naval piercing.

If I’m not careful, 40 will be here before I know it, and then I am really screwed.  The sad fact is that I can’t keep looking back either.  I have to be 30 and I have to be real with who I am and what I want.  I can still have fun and I can still socialize without feeling too creepy, but I guess I have to realize that at the same time, if I want to go ahead with the whole family idea, I need to truly embrace being a grown up.  It’s hard to say goodbye to the things I enjoyed, but at the same time, there should be new things to enjoy this time around.  I’m off for now.  I’ll keep you updated on how it goes.

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~ by James on February 18, 2012.

2 Responses to “Is It Too Late To Be Young?”

  1. Funny that you would write about feeling left behind, I was thinking about that very idea today. I’m beginning to believe that everyone is going to feel behind at some stage of their life, so you ought not to worry too much about it 🙂 For example, I am turning 33 soon and am divorced (+1) – no kids (-1), though lots of my friends have kids (-1). So I feel behind in that regard but I wonder if real life is about being behind or being in front? Good luck with everything, it was a thought provoking post!

    • Thanks for the comment! I’m glad to know some people feel the same as me, or even on the opposite end of the spectrum…I guess I should just go by my mantra, “It’s not a race to be won, but a journey to be enjoyed!” Maybe we can share more of our hopes and fears here in the future! Thanks again!

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