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I regret that it took so long to finally grow up.


FoxLocke
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Next month is my birthday. I am going to be twenty-six years old. I will be officially over the hump and on my way to thirty. I am scared about it. It isn't because I'm afraid that thirty is old. It is, primarily, because I am not where I thought I would be when I was 15/16ish...

 

I won't go into great detail (you can read about my angsty issues in my post archive) but sometimes I feel inadequate. I'm almost twenty-six and I've just figured out what I want to do with my life and in what direction that I wanted it to go...

 

When I was a teen I really hated highschool. I hated it so much that I graduated, approximately, three years earlier than I was supposed to(I recently went to my 10 year reunion). When I went back I saw all of my old peers and etc. They all looked so different. Many of them were losing a little hair, a bit thick in the waist, and were married(some had children). Although the majority weren't high powered coporate executives they still had the lives of "grown ups." I thought I had matured alot but the one comment I got was, "Man, you still look like a little kid!" or, "You still look exactly the same!"

I know they meant it as a compliment; however, I sometimes feel like I got frozen in time. I feel like I got permanantly stuck on age 17 and now I'm FINALLY growing up...I feel so behind, and sometimes it makes me feel very inadequate...

 

When I left highschool I got accepted into an art school. I passed up the oppurtunity because I was really messed up and depressed back then. Plus, I had it made up in my mind that I would be a famous comic book artist/writer. I had all of my own characters and everything. Me and my best friend were going to goto Hollywood and everything...Well, long story short, the industry did a dive; my ex-best friend went to the military, and I started working at the movie theatre. My mindset back then was, "Well, I am 16...I have time to figure it out." Which led me to start going to Junior College and playing around with classes...I finally graduated from JC after going on and off for four years...Time WASTED...

 

So I figured I could make it on my own with my little two year degree. So I went and enrolled in a four year college. And I lived there for a year, and still never declared a major because I didn't know what I wanted to do.

I came back home and started trying to enroll in all these little trade schools...But I didn't like any of them. So I started working again for all these little penny annie jobs. I was trying to get one really good job so I could finally leave and be a "grown up..." But I was busy working nowhere jobs and going insane. So my mom suggested that I go back to college...I was 24 at the time. I told her I didn't want to be in school the rest of my life. But she told me it was the perfect time since I couldn't find a job worth a damn...I agreed, and I enrolled in a major U...

 

Flash forward, and I am a really great student. I have made The Dean's list, twice, and I have three semesters to go(if I goto summer school) before I get my degree in English Lit. My job also gave me a two dollar raise. Since I have been going to counseling for all of my issues my life has gotten alot better...I am even dating someone now...

 

However, I find myself REGRETTING that I had not done all of this earlier. It often feels like alot of my years have been wasted; and that I've been stuck on auto pilot.

 

I live in the past as well; the 80's and 90's...I have every single season of Thundercats on DVD and I still enjoy it as much as I did when I was 10. I listen to music from the 80's and 90's; and I often find myself becoming sad and nostalgic when I think about it. I have this infatuation with the 1980's and 90's.

 

Right now, while I work and goto school, I live in the same house I grew up in. It is hard for me to walk around my neighborhood without having memories about all of my friends that I used to play with who no longer live there...

 

I'm also so much younger than chronological age; emotionally and physically. Everyone thinks, at first glance, that I'm in my late teens...But they don't realize that I'm approaching 30.

I see so many people my age who are completely financially independent and have careers and sometimes I feel that I don't measure up.

 

By the time I graduate I'll have a 5,000 dollar loan to pay back....And I still have seven months to go on my car note. Sometimes I get so tired of being a student, and it feels like it is going to be forever.

If I had done all of this earlier I probably would be in a nice house with IKEA furniture.

 

I want to stop regretting the past but I often do...I keep thinking about all the time I spent trying to figure out what I wanted to do. I keep thinking about going to my Junior College and never talking to any guidance counselors(a mistake I am NOT repeating now)...And I think about when I start my first real career I'll be almost 30 and not 22.

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FL,

 

I think you're in better shape than many who merely bear the trappings of success. I have no doubt you've been becoming more aware and grounded that others who are accumulating wealth and status. For many, these early years are a period of proving the ability to consume. Comparing yourself to others is just chasing your tail. Don't overlook the value of being a good person.

 

At 54, I share many of your feelings about where I should be in my life, and I've owned lots of stuff.

 

Wish I looked like a little kid....

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FL,

 

I think you're in better shape than many who merely bear the trappings of success. I have no doubt you've been becoming more aware and grounded that others who are accumulating wealth and status. For many, these early years are a period of proving the ability to consume.

 

At 54, I share many of your feelings about where I should be in my life, and I've owned lots of stuff.

 

I cannot agree more. I also have a huge problem with people who get married and have kids in their 20s automatically presuming they are more "mature" or "grown up" than someone who takes a different path. How about those who get divorced in their 20s based on a bad marital decision, and then leave their kids to grow up in a divorced home? Are they still more "adult" than you? Or the married people who cheat, or accumulate major debt with no future planning - so just tying the knot and procreating makes them more mature?

 

 

Regret is the time waster - not the time it took you to get to where you are. I was lucky in that by 15 I knew what I wanted to do but because it was such a challenging educational program, it took me two years after college to get up the courage to apply for the graduate program.

 

Hopefully, since you waited, you are doing what you really want to do, not what someone told you to do (which often includes, get a degree, then get married have kids and move to the suburbs) - those who did what they were told might find at 40, my age, that they regret not doing that riskier but much more exciting career, etc.

 

It's all in how you look at it. I am impressed with your accomplishments - from a stranger, not sure if that means much but there you have it.

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Hi

 

You are lucky you finally figure out what you want to do in life at age of 26. There are some people who never know what they want to do in life. There are also people who get tied down and unable to achieve their goal due to family commitment or money.

 

You seems to have a lot of choices here. It is never too late.

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Thanks guys. I do have this problem with comparing myself to others. It is something that I've lived my life doing. It is a horrible habit that I am trying to stop...

 

This year, for the first time, I have been making my own decisions. I used to allow everyone to tell me what I SHOULD be doing instead of what I NEED to be doing for MYSELF. Now, I look back on it and maybe had I gone with my gut(which was to pursue writing and art, like I'm doing now) I would have been "on course..."

 

But, I think, I should be thankful that I am on track now. I know what I want to do(Finish my degree and write) and I'm doing it.

Not everyone has the same life, and I should just accept that.

 

Thanks guys.

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Fox,

Just focus on how great it feels to have a better idea on what you want to do. I am 37 and i can honestly tell you i am not doing what i want to do.

 

Anyway you are exactly where you need to be. You cannot be anywhere else right now. This is the way it was supposed to go down and did.

 

No need to should on yourself. Or would of and could of.

 

The mystery of life unfolds slowly at times, and mysteriously as well. You are doing fine from what you told all of us here on ENOT.

 

Be well,

brando

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I used to hate all that humanity stood for with it's perversed corruption of what I thought was the human soul, but it all changed at the age of 28 with a quote from the character played by Kevin Spacey in Swimming with Sharks:

 

"Look, I can appreciate this. I was young too, I felt just like you. Hated authority, hated all my bosses, thought they were full of * * * *. Look, it's like they say, if you're not a rebel by the age of 20, you got no heart, but if you haven't turned establishment by 30, you've got no brains. Because there are no story-book romances, no fairy-tale endings. So before you run out and change the world, ask yourself, "What do you really want?""

 

This made me reassess my place in life and answer the question: What do I really want? I know I want to enhance my intellect, I know I want be comfortable, I know I want to be loved, I know I want to maintain my humanity, etc, etc, etc....... So, I quit hatting the world and decided to lovingly join the world. This has truly given me the happiest years of my life and success in my career. It's amazing what a positive healthy mental attitude can do for a person.

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Awww Foxlocke - I love reading your posts. I follow as many as I see.

 

I have nothing to offer you in the way of..."things will get better" or "here's how to get out of that" but I can offer you a big fat - I CAN SOOOO RELATE to this post. 'Cept I'm 30 something and feel like a big smelly (and fat) loser times 3.

 

So Na. I'm a bigger loser.

 

There, if you're going to compare yourself to someone, compare yourself to me. Then you'll start to feel better. (always go downward for comparisons, not upward)

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