Sunday, May 25, 2008

Am I Too Old?

Am I too old to be hanging out with friends? There are so many pressures and expectations placed on a 26 year old person. I feel like I should be looking for a girl, looking to get married, looking to have kids, etc. However, I still enjoy going for hikes, playing wiffle ball, playing video games, playing cards, or shooting hoops with friends more than anything else.

At work, I have to be this ultra mature, super serious person. I have to be very responsible, and my demanor and performance has to demand the respect of my customers and coworkers. I spend so much time being serious and acting twice my age at work that all I want to do on my days off is goof around and act like a kid. It's funny because if you didn't know me and met me hanging out with my minimally employed friends, you'd think I was some near-30 loser making $10/hr at Walmart, instead of a highly skilled professional making 6-figures.

I'm 26 years old. I probably look closer to 30 with the way my hair is slowly turning grey. I have a well-paying, highly respected job. However, I feel no different than I did when I was 16.

Point in fact: I don't want to be any different than I was 16. I want to go out and shoot 500 jumpshots per day in an attempt to keep improving my shooting. I want to go play homerun derby. I want to shoot pool. I enjoy those things immensely. They make me happy. However those things which make me happy in the short term are keeping me from pursuing longterm happiness. After all, will I still be capable of playing basketball every day when I'm 35? Even so, will I have anyone to play with? Am I still going to be hanging out with the same friends at that age? Will I still be playing video games?

It sounds pathetic, and I suppose it is. I know I won't be doing those things when I'm older though. If I'm not doing that, then what will I do? I guess that's the real reason I want to eventually get married. I just don't want to be alone when I'm older. For me, it's not really about attraction, lust, or even love. It's about companionship.

So the question becomes: What age is too old to be acting like a kid? Am I already too old? Do I have a few more years left? Or, perhaps acting youthful is always a good thing as long as I can incorporate women into my life somehow. I clearly have not mastered this though.

Anyway... Thinking about the future makes me anxious for a number of reasons, so I'm off to occupy myself somehow.


Lurker said...

Whoa, whoa, whoa, wait. Hold up just a minute here. What's wrong with your hobbies? I'm a 27 year-old happily married woman who loves to kick back and play World of Warcraft with my friends and my husband. I also love to sit and watch him get completely trashed in MarioKart Wii or have him laugh while I'm slashing at shadow creatures in Zelda: Twilight Princess.

You should look for a woman who can share your hobbies. Trust me, there are plenty of us out there who love to play video games, work on cars, and play sports.

There's nothing "childish" or immature about your interests as long as they aren't your sole defining feature. While my husband and I can talk strats for WoW dungeons all day long, we can also discuss politics, religion, books we're reading (Wheel of Time is a favorite series), or just what we did at work. Nothing irritates me more than his family putting down his liking to play games as "childish." It's not. It's *fun* is what it is.

You're right, though, about one thing: you need to find a companion, not an obsession or a "replacement" for your hobbies. Look for women who you could share those things with. Believe me: we exist! :)

susan said...

I understand people's need for companionship and all, but many people stay in miserable relationships because they fear being alone. They figure even a bad relationship is better than no relationship. My parents fight a lot and perhaps should have gotten a divorce. But my dad always says, "I can't imagine growing old
alone." That's his reasoning for staying with my mother.
For me, I guess I understand the appeal of relationships, but would probably be happy alone for the rest of my life. I keep on telling myself that being alone doesn't necessarily mean lonely.

Pharmacy Kid said...

Yes, you can play basketball when you're 35. Look at Tim Duncan for example. He's 32. Plus, he's played 82 games per season + playoff games. That takes a toll on the body, but if he can do it, you can do it. As he ages, his playing style adapts according to his body. That's why he's perennially great.

He also likes to play Dungeons and Dragons and is a big videogamer. So you can be all professional on the court (the pharmacy) and be a kid off the court (at home/with friends). Ha, I love my basketball metaphors.

It's funny how you think you should have a girl/get married. I've made up my mind that I WILL NOT get married until at least 30. I am not going to start my pharmacy career and have a family at the same time. I know people who have done this and they feel as if they're in a cage. I plan to work and travel in my 20's. Then maybe work and have a family in my 30's.

Anonymous said...

Acting youthful is never a bad thing. OK, I'm in my early 50's -- been in pharmacy 26 years. I'm probably considered pretty serious at work (but let's face it, what we do IS serious business.) But when I get home, my favorite way to unwind is often watching some infantile movie on Comedy Central that I've seen a hundred times. I'm happy (and married). If you're not happy within yourself, you can't be happy with someone else.

Anonymous said...

Amen to what anonymous said above. You can't look to someone else to make you happy. said...

I still act like a kid. Enough with the self loathing.

Anonymous said...

You are never too old to do the things that make you happy. I believe staying active and making sure life is enjoyable is what keeps you alive. Once life isnt fun anymore, people tend to not live much longer.

Anonymous said...

life sucks , just drink some pentobarbital and call it a day........that way you wont have to worry about petty stuff like this.......stuff like 'i wonder if i will still be having fun in five years while a million kids across will still be starving in five years'? you need to kill yourself already or take some acid and get some perspective on life

Anonymous said...

I am a 35yo female pharmacy manager who only got married 3 years ago. I waited to find the right person. We both act like kids sometimes. We both have high stress jobs and we act like kids because it is a stress reliever.

Gail said...

I don't know if you are living where you grew up, or in a smaller town, but I know that back where I'm from (a mid sized city), everyone seemed to get married right out college, then had kids. Guys maybe had a little more leeway, but not much.

Now that I live in a big city, being 26 and married would almost count as weird. I'm 33, and while I'm probably getting a little long in the tooth, no one is surprised that I'm not married. It's just a different culture.

Most everyone in my family got married out of college - half of them are already on their second marriages, even.

Anonymous said...

Yeah - I gotta say - I worry a bit about you. I'm almost 55 & I feel a bit like I'm 26 still.

Life is a journey - you're on a journey and need to enjoy each part of it - jump shots, boring "girl movie" dates and just "hanging" with friends.

Marriage should not be just to provide companionship because as much as you love that individual, you could lose her (or my case) in just a moment. Fortunately, I didn't. But, at the age of 33, we were faced with monumental medical decisions and 2 small toddlers. I knew I could have lost him at that time - fortunately - I didn't.

We decided to go forward with the best medical advice we had (after 4 consults) and have lived another 25 years. Our children are grown & almost out of college (if one will just finish medical school!). But - we decided that "living" - which means enjoying the "shooting hoops with friends", sitting around a campfire, ALWAYS taking a vacation rather than working would be more important than working.

That makes me happy at 55! Yes - I'll have to work until I'm 65, 67 or 70 at least part-time becaue of my husbands medical condition, but he is my first & last "kid". He plays the latest video games, he'll ride a tricycle with a great-nephew and enjoys a sunset in Hawaii with me. He is my life because I love him- not because he is my companion.

We are "kids" as long as we want to be! Don't think so hard & enjoy the journey!

Good luck!

Pharmer Jane said...

Being a "grown up" kind of sucks, Mike. Don't do it. Hubby and I play softball 3 nights a week (actually, he plays, I watch, because I can't throw or catch to save my life!) We play Guitar Hero. I still listen to heavy metal even though I should "grow up" and like the Beatles. Do something because YOU want to do it and like it, not because you think you should.

Keef's Gurl said...

Dude, I hope you never grow up. Ever. I hope that you're a 70 year old geek still shooting 5000 - ok, maybe not that many; maybe just as many as your arthritic knees will let you - jumpshots a day. I hope that you never get tired of hanging out and playing video games, I hope that you're always as young at heart as you are right now.

Mikey, you're too hard on yourself. It's almost as if you feel like you're in the position of responsibility at work and feel the need to tailor your personal life to reflect that, and it's not necessary....really. I have a job that makes me very happy but that can also be very stressful, and if I didn't have my boyfriend to come home to, read comic (ahem, graphic novels) books, goof off and generally act like a geek with....well, I think I'd have lost my mind quite some time ago.

Growing up is highly overrated in some ways. I'd avoid it.