There is a meme going around about posting a big block of text in your LJ basically about having negative emotions about time running out as you grow older. I am not posting it in my LJ because I don’t feel most of those things. While I have not “accomplished” great things, I have accomplished things I am amazed about when I look back over my life. The work I am doing now is amazing to me considering where I was just a few years ago. In fact I think I am ahead of the curve in a lot of ways.
I don’t really have any savings, I doubt I will have much for my retirement, I don’t own a home, I am not in a long term relationship (not in any romantic relationship), I don’t have kids and never will, I expect there will be a lot of change over in my friends over the next few years, I just started yet another job that doesn’t have much room for upward mobility… but these aren’t measurements I use to assess value. They are things I can see others using to measure me and I don’t really care about those assessments. My value is somewhere completely different.
One thing about being ready to be done with life before the age 18 is that anything I get done is gravy. If I don’t do something before I die, that is no biggy. I don’t want immortality. After I am gone, I would rather be forgotten. Once I am gone, I won’t care about unfinished business here on Earth. The only time these things matter is when I am here and that is why I work on them. They matter now, not after some deadline.
Growing up, I was very glad to be the age I was and resented growing older. I was happy to be a kid and didn’t feel the need to look forward to being a teen. As a teen I enjoyed the freedoms I still had and didn’t shave my legs or wear makeup wanting to reach for being an adult. As an adult, I still felt young. I am older now and while I am not pleased about how my body is no longer working as well as it used to, it has never worked as well as I would have liked and so it is not that different.
I knew when I was traveling around Europe that I needed to enjoy it while I could because I loved backpacking and staying in youth hostels and when I got older, I would need to stay in hotels. So I absorbed as much as I could and now looking back I don’t regret any of it. A few times I wish I had done more but I have a clear understanding that those were the decisions I made with the info I had at the time and I probably would do it the same way again if I was in the same place.
I would prefer not to grow older just because I don’t want to go through the process. I finally feel like a real grownup because I feel like I am actually looking at things like a grownup and taking responsibility for my thoughts, feelings, actions and relationships. When I was 19, I got my first apartment for the summer and that made me feel like a “real grownup.” That is the only time I can think of where an accomplishment was a milestone for me. Buying my first new car was a milestone, a milestone of actually buying a car. That is it.
I am responsible for my life and how I feel about it. While I am not happy with it, it is for very different reasons than I am growing older and missing out on things. If you are missing out, take stock of what you want, make a reasonable list and start doing. I think Jadecat9 has been doing that. Sadly, I am not sure her list is reasonable. She likes so many thing and wants it all. But she is following up on what she wants to accomplish instead of feeling bad about it.
Me, I am different. I am going where my next step takes me and then I will see what steps are available from there. It feels odd to not have a “goal” or be driven, to not be pulling myself forward even if it is just to next week. But I am ok with that for now.
So to sum up my babble, I am not posting that meme because it isn’t me and I feel I am different from a lot of people my age because of that.