I’m not quite sure I do this to myself, but right now I’m wasting my time. I know I am, and yet I find it difficult to pull myself out of it.
Last night I couldn’t have felt better. A friend of mine was holding a house party which I was reasonably looking forward to. I always enjoy house parties… they are vastly preferable to going out to nightclubs and the like… for one, they’re cheaper, and for two, you are usually in good company with good music. Music is very important for me – it has incredible effects on my moods. Right now I’m listening to a load of depressing stuff. I can’t tell, however, if the music has made me introspective now, or if I’m just complementing my current mood with this music. Hmm.
Anyway, the party was great fun. I hardly drink, and so after two cans of pretty weak beer in the first hour I’d had enough. Meanwhile, everyone else gets pissed, and I can laugh at the ridiculous situations people get themselves into. I would really hate to get as drunk as some of these people do – so much so that they can’t even sit up straight on a chair. Pathetic.
The funny thing is that people seem to think that I am drunk too. I just get into the party mood and act as independently as possible. I always try to be my own person, and despise feeling like I’m under the influence of someone else. It’s something I’ve cultivated since I was about 13… I suddenly realised that being a sheep sucked really bad. The logical consequence of this was that I only ever had a small number of friends, but they were really good ones. I was cast aside by most, but I was able to deal with it.
This attitude is still with me, although I don’t feel like I have as much self-esteem any more. Somehow that managed to seep out of me.
So I had a lot of fun being myself… meeting people, dancing, singing and annoying several others who were beginning to annoy me with their anti-social drinking. I didn’t get back till 4am today, which is possibly the latest I’ve ever been at such a party.
But this morning I’ve undone all the work I did in making myself a bit happier by getting back into the usual rut of the things I like to piss myself off with, i.e. everything I’ve complained about in the past. It’s almost a neurosis now… endlessly concerned about the passage of time and what I’m doing with it. I’m still pissed off that I seemed to stop growing in height a few years before everyone else.
It’s hard to put it into words… but I think this is possibly the best way I’ve put it in a while. I don’t want to accept the fact that I’m finished growing up, and within a few years I won’t have anything in common with the new younger generation that is replacing me and my peers. In the past, the days used to pass by, and even if I knew that I’d not achieved anything, at least I knew that I had had another day of “growing up” – physically, rather than mentally – in the bag.
But now that is over, there is not even that to fall back on. Mental maturity now has to be achieved through my own effort. This is what scares me.
The days don’t seem to be as valuable now. In the past, each day had a bonus factor of growth, and there was an ultimate target of full maturity to achieve. But now I’ve got there, I don’t know where this is going. Apart from the end, of course… but I don’t depress myself further by thinking about that.
This has all been added to by the fact that I’ve been looking at the website of the Sixth Form college I studied at for my A-Levels – and things have moved on a lot there since I was there just a couple of years ago. I had some great times there and I wish I could go back and do those two years of my life all over again. They were great times, and these memories have come flooding back as I read through to see what life is like there now. I’d like to visit and see what my old teachers are up to now, but being a couple of hundred miles away makes that rather difficult.
But since I have to get older, one my main worries is that I’m going to take my “finger off the pulse” of what it means to be young. I have always considered going into teaching as it’s an extremely worthwhile area; there is something about youth that is fascinating. No other time of life has as much academic research dedicated to it. Once you’re beyond youth, you have 50 odd years of adult wilderness.
So I want to continue engaging with young people, and keep this teaching opportunity open. I still am at the moment, just about. But this won’t last much longer.
A confused mess. That’s what I am. And it’s all my fault.