Saturday, November 10, 2007

Aging and such...

Not a lot of people know how old I am. It isn't that I keep it a secret. In fact, I'll happily tell anyone the truth when asked.

So, for inquiring minds...I am 35 (36 in March).

My age is becoming increasingly important to me. Not because of vanity...actually quite the opposite.

I'm a 35 year old man who looks, at best, 22 (see left). Now most people would consider this a great thing. But, I feel it is a kind of burden.

You see, as a 35 year old who looks to be in his early 20s it has become really hard to deal with people who think I'm in my 20s. I'm tired of getting carded for EVERYTHING! I even got carded at a Wal-Mart once because the town had a curfew. Now, I know most people my age and older would love get carded, but I'm tired of it.

I'm tired of people not taking me seriously because they think I'm so young or too young. I'm tired of walking into offices on my campus (I work at a university) and people just assume I'm a student...and treat me like one. I even had one person who I had to tell 3 times that I wasn't a student before they could even hear what I was asking.

You know what the worst part of looking like a man in his early 20s women my own age. Some men will claim that this would be a HUGE advantage. But, I'm not one of them. I would love to meet and go out with someone near my own age (30ish). But, when women my age see me they totally write me off as being too young (not that I blame them).

And therein lies the problem I'm noticing in my semi-old age. I'm starting to think more and more about "adult" things. Getting a house, finding a job I can retire in, marrying, children, retirement, etc. Maybe it's because I look so young (even to myself), or because I started college early and am just now getting out into the professional world (for real this 2nd time around).

I'm just starting to find myself thinking about life issues I've never really thought about before. I used to think I didn't want children, and I'm still not sure, but I'm thinking about children and what it would be like to be a father more and more lately. Even what it would be like to serve as a foster parent.

I think that may be the oddest part for me. I didn't have the best childhood, which used to make me not want to raise children. I was terrified I'd be exactly like my parents. Now, I'm not saying that I'm totally over that fear. What I am thinking, though, is that because of my experience, I might be able to give another child who has had a rough time of it something more...especially because of my experience.

It's kind of weird. All this started happening right after I graduated from Harvard. And then I ask myself, was it my graduation from Harvard or is it the fact that I have a real job now? Or is it the fact that I've had to switch from being a student to becoming an advisor of students. I mean, my job is requiring me to be much, much more adultlike than I've ever had to before.

I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that I don't feel like I have a home right now. I've been in my job and my new town for about five months right now, and the town most definitely does not feel like home at this point. It's hard being on a college campus when you're basically the only one starting new.

This wasn't the case when I was a student. As a student you always start the year off with a group of fellow students who are new, and this allows you to bond over that experience and create friendships. This isn't the case with my job. I'm the new person...the only new person. No one to bond with over the same experiences.

And I'm not a student...I'm not one of the "guys," in fact, I'm now one of "them." I don't think I ever consider the consequences of becoming one of "them." I'm totally by myself.

This was exacerbated this weekend while I was taking a group of students to a conference at Dartmouth.

I was never particularly fond of Boston, though I think this had a lot to do with my experiences at Harvard Divinity School which skewed my perception of Boston.

But, this weekend as I was driving in New Hampshire, I felt a soft spot in my heart for...get this...Shaw's Supermarket. It made me think of Boston and my friends there. Not quite home, but more of a home than my current situation. I mean I had all these disconcerting emotions over a grocery store? It was more than weird.

Anyway, I guess all I'm trying to say is that I'm in a period of transition and it's a transition I'm not quite sure what to think. In some ways I think it is really good, and in some ways I think it is causing me to miss other things I should be taking note of.

I don't know...I guess I'm just venting...thanks for listening.

Thanks Be to God and Boomer Sooner!
Feast of St. Martin of Tours (ca. 316-397)


At 3:02 PM, Blogger Who Am I? said...

My face isn't as young as it once was (for which I blame the children), but I've always looked young too. It was not fun at all when each of the babies were born to be treated like a teenager when I was well into my 20's. So, I feel that pain. I find it encouraging that you would rather date someone your own age and eventually, someone your age will think so too. Venting is good and transition can be scary. I think this is one of the best posts you've ever written.

And you won't turn into your parents. I haven't-it's a struggle sometimes, but so far I've managed to avoid it.



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