Every once and a while, I seem to sit up straight, cast off the blanket of “normal life”, and look around with fresh eyes. During those times, I start to wonder: “What am I supposed to be doing with my life?”
Now, don’t get me wrong: I’m not entirely unhappy with my life. I doubt this is any real sort of “mid-life crisis”-induced thinking. Granted, the phenomenon is common enough to be a cliché, and one of the most astonishing things one realizes about one’s life is how many of those are true, even without consciously being molded into them..
No, it’s not entirely about any form of dissatisfaction in life that I put that question to myself. Rather, it is the strange notion of “age” and “age appropriateness” which I’ve never entirely cottoned on to.
(Er.. “to which I’ve never entirely cottoned”? Let’s not let grammar get in the way of meaning, shall we?)
I’ve always felt that age was really just a label, and really not meaningful. When I was a kid, I got along better with adults than other kids. As an adult, I’ve always related to university-age “kids” better than contemporaries. I’ve always bristled at the notion that I had “to grow up” or “grow out of childish things”.
I don’t think I fall into the cliché of “man-boy” — I’m plenty mature. Actually, in some ways I think it’s the prime of my life: I’m old enough, mature enough and experienced enough to have self-control, reflection, insight, intelligence, appreciate hard work and so forth, yet still young enough to appreciate fun things and allow my mind and heart to wander. I don’t have the phenomenal disposable income someone of my age typically gets from work, but that’s less typical these days for the majority of people anyway.
I think I’m caught in the in-between generation, the generation that started when the world worked one way — let’s call that the standard model — and a brand-new way, which we’ll call the new model. Continue reading