Saturday, September 24, 2011

I'm So Much Older Than I Can Take

Lately, I've felt like an old person. And not an old person having fun, like this lady:

No, more like an old person who still has to work, is still saddled with debt, and dealing with mounting health problems/medical bills. And nobody comes to visit them anymore, because their house smells weird, and it's all too depressing. 

I feel like I was sold a bill of goods when it comes to my twenties. Shouldn't I have an awesome & fun job, tons of energy, a huge sex drive, be out partying all the time and still be skinny and have nice skin and generally enjoying my youth? It turns out, my twenties kinda suck. Not to downplay the good things - I love Adam, and I love being married. I love that we are living on our own now, and I love that we've managed to make it through this shit year without financial help from anybody (so far. Knock on wood). I truly enjoy the field of work I've landed in, and the only complaint I have re: my job is that I don't get to do enough.

Everything that has happened has given me a feeling of lost youth. Not just the events of my twenties, but I'd like to blame them for the sudden realization that time is slipping by and I haven't been utilizing it in the way I'd like to. I feel like twenty-four and twenty-five year olds should not be dealing with emergency surgeries and endless doctor visits. I don't even have the energy to be cool anymore. I don't care. My conversations tend to have topics like 401(k)s and health insurance and the interest rate of a savings account, rather than arguments about indie music or books or whatever the kids are talking about these days. Suddenly I'm practically a 45-year old middle-class person, and I barely recognize myself. 

I think I know why most people don't enjoy poignant works of art, or really anything that makes them think - popular culture is as dumbed-down and fluffed up as it is because most people just don't have the energy for anything else. When there's some spare time or you're trying to wind down from a long day, the last thing you want is to watch or read or listen to anything that is going to emotionally exhaust you even more - you want the artistic equivalent of cotton candy. Ridiculous reality shows or cheesy comedies or even a semi-dramatic movie with a happy ending gives an escape from the depressing reality of your actual life. Hell, that realization in itself is incredibly depressing. 

I was really hoping to have a crazy night out sometime soon, but it seems I'm having a relapse. Last night I had a sore throat and my cough came back; I'm getting dizzy again. I doubt I'll even be able to stay up to watch SNL tonight, much less go out late, because I am old.


  1. This is kind of the way I was feeling in the midst of my quarter life crisis. We're sold this vision of our 20's being endless parties and fun and when we realize that we choose getting enough sleep for work the next day over a late night out at a bar wasting money on fattening drinks and bar food, it kind of makes our brains crazy. Or at least it did for me.
    I remember one day as I walked to my office, after parking in the parking garage downtown, large mocha with an extra shot in hand (I so needed that extra shot after a night of no sleep thanks to stress), and I caught a glimpse of my reflection in a window. Who was this woman?? I vividly remember detesting even the idea of drinking coffee. I never really thought I would be working in the heart of downtown Portland. Sure, maybe I daydreamed about trekking to Big Pink for some unknown glamorous job...but I never really though I would actually be one of those people. One of those people that fights traffic while burning her tongue on hot coffee because she just can't wait for the caffeine to kick in.
    That is the moment I started to really freak out. I needed to party more! Care less! Do more immoral things! Haha, sounds so ridiculous, but it's how I felt.
    Now I'm kind of thinking, screw the societal image I've been sold of myself! I like to go to bed early on weeknights because I like being early to work. It's not for everyone, and not everyone has a job that they don't actually mind going to. We don't all party the same, we don't all take care of ourselves the same, and we all go through different struggles. It's unfortunate that yours all seem to be health related, but I'm thinking dealing with this stuff now is going to set you up for a damn good time in your 30s and beyond. Not that thinking of your 30s will help with your feeling of lost lose.
    I guess the point of this entirely too long ramble I'm about to post is that freaking out about missing out on some part of life is kinda normal. Just try to remember that we're all different and our lives go different directions. And really, you're not old. Not even close. How long is the average life? And where are you on that span? Still at the very beginning. You've got time. And taking care of this health crap that now, will ensure the span of your life is long.
    Boy, I'm rambly today.

  2. I agree 100% with the above comment. I was actually going to say this sounds like a quarter life crisis! I'm in the midst of one of those myself. All I can say is sometimes things suck and sometimes things don't suck as much. That's all there is to it. Get through this thing and look forward to the next, and I don't mean that in a depressing way. We will all go out again and have some crazy adventure. You know I love my adventures! :-)

    Except next time we wont get into a giant SUV with a random Asian guy who has crazy dyed hair. ;-)

  3. Oh, I'm okay with my job and all that, if anything I'm just frustrated that I can't afford to get back into school right now, and that plan has been set back a year, maybe two, due to all the crap we've had heaped on us lately. I think right now my biggest fear (other than never getting well) is that Adam & I won't be able to continue being upwardly mobile. We make a lot more money than we did two years ago, but those pesky costs seem to rise along with your income.

    Raina, I will desperately need a night out when I'm feeling better! But yes, hopefully no getting into cars with random people or passing out somewhere other than my bed OR vomiting. None of those are things I'd care to repeat (well, I'll gladly pass out at a house I know, with people I know, but I still prefer my bed).