First off, I want to say “Congratulations!” to my cousin Jason, who got married a few days ago in BC. Unfortunately, I couldn’t attend the Wedding due to the aformentioned job I finally managed to find, so this is the best I can do and I hope that they’ll forgive me.
Today was a really beautiful day. Just my temperature too. Low 20s, nice cool breeze, low mosquito count (I’ve been bitten five times on my right pinky finger; the damn thing was as thick as my thumb for the past week or so and itchy as hell) that all I wanted to do all day was walk around and enjoy the nice day.
Since it was really nice, I began to feel a little nostalgic. As I was walking, I decided to reflect on my life and of the past. Of choices made and where life is leading me. One of these thoughts were of all the people I’ve met over the years, especially of friends whom I’ve never really kept in contact with but grew up with all the same.
So as I got home, on a whim, I decided to visit good old Classmates.com. I remember shortly after I graduated high school back in 1999 (Father Lacombe, if you must know), I created an account and filled out a profile because that was the hip thing to do those days. I haven’t visited it since and figured I check to see what’s gone on the last five years or so.
Now, my graduating class (Class of ’99, how cool is that?) consisted of around 300 members. Of which, only 21 or so of those went directly on to University (my friend Brian actually did a head count during first year when most of us were sitting around in the food court; he’s really organized that way). Now on Classmates.com, about 183 of those people actually registered, which is not a bad turn out. A good hunk of them filled out profiles, so I amused myself for a couple of hours by reading some of them. Now, I know that some of those profiles are outdated (I hadn’t updated mine for about five years) but man, did my view of the world change.
You see, the plan I had for the rest of my life (relationship wise) went something like this.
- Get married sometime after 30 (maybe earlier, if it’s for love)
- Have kids no later than 35 (if I’d have them at all)
To me, this sounds like a nice plan. It would hopefully give me enough time to enjoy my youth, to earn my fortune so that I’d be able to provide for my family and those that I care about, and I’d still be young enough to be able to raise children and see them through to adulthood.
So you can imagine my surprise when I discovered that a good hunk of the people that I graduated with are now married or have children of their own.
You see, I’m only 23 (going on 24 in September) and I just can’t picture myself with a kid (or two) much less married at this age. I’m just not ready! And yet, some of my friends are one or both, right now. I can only imagine what it must be like having to worry about mouths to feed, paying off loans, mortgages, rent and possibly having to worry about relationship problems that go beyond anything I’ve ever had to deal with. It boggles my mind that they have to deal with that kind of stuff at this age.
It makes me wonder if I’d ever be ready to do such a thing. I wonder if they were ever ready too, or if they were thrust into their situations by force. I’m not sure if I’d ever be ready.
I’ve been told that I need to grow up a little more. Now I’m beginning to think that that may be true, to a certain point. You see, I used to believe that growing up is something that shouldn’t be rushed. It’s not like you wake up one day and decide that you’re all grown up. And I didn’t think that you could force it either because if you did, then you’d spend the rest of your life looking back to the past trying to relive it or wishing things were different in order to make up for all of the things that you missed because you forced yourself to “grow-up”. But now I see that sometimes circumstances can force a person to have to change, regardless of whether or not they want to. And I fear that there is a great cost to that. And now I worry about my friends.
I guess what I’m trying to say (it’s the wee hours of the morning; hard to conjugate) is that I really admire them. To have to deal with issues like that right now, my heart goes out to them. I can only imagine how difficult it must be sometimes, and I know that they must have made a lot of sacrifices along the way, perhaps more than anyone in their early 20s should have to make. And I wonder if I’d be able to do that too.
As for growing up myself, all I can do is live life one day at a time and let things fall where they may. I don’t ever want to be in the position where all I ever do is look back on the past and spend all of my time trying to re-live it or wishing things went differently because I tried to force myself to grow up by making stupid choices that I know are bad but do anyways because people keep telling me “it’s all part of growing up”. Or worse, consciously make those mistakes because I want to and use the “it’s all part of growing up” reason as an excuse to do those things. To me, people who think that way are just plain stupid, possibly the stupidest people on Earth, next to people who do things because of peer-pressure.
Anyways, all this me having to grow up stuff is funny though, because I’ve been told numerous times by my friends on many different occasions in my life that “I shouldn’t change”. So is there any possible way for me to grow up without having to change? I know that I’m still a little naive, but, I have to admit, I like the way I am. I don’t like the state of the world though (which is one of the reasons why I don’t really want kids; I don’t want them to grow up in a world like this one is right now). I doubt there’s an easy answer. I do know that when I look back on my life, I don’t do it often and I rarely do it with regret. So I hope I’m at least doing something right.