On Growing Up And Letting Go Of The Past
I've always found myself scared to grow up. I think part of it is the responsibility I don't want and the other part is that I see so many "adults" that are just completely miserable, filled with regrets and I want nothing more than to completely avoid that at all costs.
In college, I used to be pretty close with my neighbor. He started off as a customer at my job, he came in every morning except Sunday at 10 AM to get a large black coffee with half a refill with his friends. They were all retired so they could do that kind of stuff and they loved it.
As the months passed we realized we were neighbors, he lived a few houses down from me in our small town. I remember asking him once what the best piece of advice he would give his younger self and without hesitation, he replied, "if someone hands you the keys, say no. The more keys you have the more responsibility you have and you don't want that."
I kind of laughed a little bit but he's right. You get keys to your car, then a house, then a job, a safe maybe, then the possibilities are endless for the things you become responsible for.
I'm torn between wanting to grow up and staying young forever.
Last weekend I went back to that same college town, talked to the same old neighbor and got blackout drunk with my same friends that I got drunk with for years in college. We all came back and it felt like nothing ever changed. Except when we left on Sunday we all went back to our normal lives and jobs and new towns and responsibilities – it kind of broke my heart.
I moved across the country now from PA to Denver, CO. My plane ride sucked. I was so, so sad. I cried in the car on the way to the airport thinking how much I didn't want to leave. My mom texted me though, to remind me that it might have been a great weekend but everyone will be gone on Monday and back to their normal lives, even if I stuck around.
I hate that about life. You're surrounded by so many friends for so long in one place and it fills your heart so much and then it's just over. Somehow four years just goes by in the blink of an eye.
I played my alumni game last week on Friday to kick off the weekend and the girls who were freshman when I was a senior are now juniors. I also got to play with the girls who were seniors when I was a freshman and now they're married and own houses. It's wild.
I always ask people who are in their mid-30s and up if it gets better. Most of them say yes, but in a different way. In a way that doesn't involve getting drunk with your friends or laying around watching Netflix or just doing dumb shit that stops as you get older.
I think that's what scares me most, is that right now all I want is for my fun to be tied to other people. I want to be surrounded by my friends, I want to get drunk and make semi-regretable decisions, I just want to have fun all the time. I didn't realize just how extroverted I was until after I graduated college and moved to Australia where I was spending extended periods of time alone but I hate being alone. I hate not having social interaction. I hate not talking to my friends.
But when everyone left on Sunday to go back home, I realized life really goes on. Slowly but surely less people will stop coming back to our college town for a weekend of partying. Slowly but surely people will start getting married, buying houses, having kids, and they won't be the same people I remember funneling beer with and eating pizza on the curb with at 3 AM begging for a ride home because we're too lazy to walk.
I think I'm scared to grow up because I'm not ready to let that part go. Because this chapter I'm in right now is kind of lonely, kind of quiet and kind of confusing. I don't know what's next, I don't even know what I want to be next but I know I had the time of my life a couple years ago and got to feel that freeing, happy, fun feeling again last weekend.
I hate that growing up means having to make plans a week in advance to get dinner with a friend because everyone's schedules are so crazy. I hate that growing up means I haven't been to a bar in 3 months on a weekend because I don't have anyone to go out with. I hate that growing up means people start settling down and starts to single you out because you don't want to settle down.
I don't know what's next, or what I want to be next, but everyone tells me it gets better, just in a different way. I hope they're right.