Nov 22, 2013

Thoughts From Outside the Box

Has the world gone crazy or is it just me?

I'm kind of a hybrid kid. I went to college but had to take a leave of absence because my mom (whom I'm living with) makes too much money for Pell grant assistance (according to FAFSA), but not enough to pay for college for me AND my brother (according to math). Thankfully, I will be a full-time student again next year!

But that's not important. The financial aid system is effed up, but that's trivial in the scope of what I'm about to reveal.

I have just discovered that of ALL the people I still talk to from high school (and who didn't complete college) I am the last non-married childless one of the bunch. I'll wait a moment for that to sink in...

Now, I've been thinking about this all day and I've evaluated the situation two ways. 1: There's something wrong with me. I dropped the ball on the whole dating scene and I need to seriously step my game up. I need to meet a nice girl instead of sitting in front of my computer writing about guys meeting nice girls. I need to escape this effed up conundrum.

Or 2: My friends have no idea what to do with their lives now that high school is over. There are no more test, quizzes, football games, projects, gossip, insane teachers, or pretty girls/handsome guys. Their life has no focus anymore...and it ended so abruptly. I mean, one minute you're stressing over finals and the next you're crying to Friends Forever by Vitamin C and planning next years trip to the Homecoming game.

I love you guys. Aww, group hug!

I think my friends don't know what to do at this stage of their lives so they mimic their parents, hoping it'll buy them time to figure out how to be an adult. 'Cause, you know, adulthood is is just like graduating high school. You're sitting at the kid's table one day and the next day some old geezer slaps you with 'Come on, we're all adults here, right?' Like, WTF. When did that happen?

I want to shake my friends stupid. I mean, I know it's the path they chose, but come on. There is an entire world out there. I mean, the earth has 57.5 MILLION square miles of land, of culture, of awesome shish-kabob, and delectable ice cream. Why would you want to take the fast track to living in a box, driving in a box, and working in a box before you had a chance to see, to experience, as much as possible?

Am I crazy to think that way?


  1. Hmmm....not crazy. But, just because they are married and/or have kids, doesn't mean their lives are over. I am one who got married right after my first year of college, then had a child a year and a half later and another two years later. But, we still get to travel, we still get to see the world, we just have cute kids to take along with us and who get to experience the cool stuff with us. So, don't look at it as they didn't get to experience life or that they're stuck in a box, they are just experiencing everything differently :)

    1. I never looked at it that way. I guess hearing my mom say 'I've always wanted to travel but I had too many damn kids' over and over kind of clouds your judgement.

    2. That's understandable! It's definitely not the same and it can be way more difficult to travel and do certain things, but as a mom, I love it!

      But, on the other spectrum, I don't think anyone should feel like they're behind in life if all of their friends are married and have kids and they don't. Again, you're just living life differently and at your own pace :)

  2. I remember feeling that way because all of my friends got married in their early twenties, and I was like - Wait, what is happening?! But I always had a few single girlfriends to roll with, so it was okay. And then, when they started getting married too, I jumped on the bandwagon. Married at 28, Traveled for two years - Kid at 30 - It turned out to be a beautiful plan!

    I always say now my twenties were for having fun and my thirties are for having/raising kids. No regrets.

    It will all work itself out - you'll see :) And yeah, I say travel before you have them - stress-free, guilt-free, no worries about getting back or possibly having to come home early. Travel while you're FREE!

  3. Interesting article, Mike. Actually it makes me feel anxious again. I'm 26, unemployed, and single and wasting my life away at a computer screen while my school and college mates are rolling, getting married, having kids, and traveling all over the world.

    I think happiness comes in a different flavor once you're married, but it does come to you. One can still see the world after the Doom's day :D

    OMG, I'd be 27 in few months :(
    Xander, get that effing job NOW!!!!!!

  4. I totally feel you here. I think everyone has moments in their life where they look around and think 'WTF am I supposed to be doing?' I married in my early 20's because I knew it was real and lifelong - but I didn't have a job. We lived with my husbands parents for two years while my friends had kids, jobs, and bought fancy cars and houses. It was a very strange few years...

    In the end, when I was on the other side looking back, I realized that I was uncomfortable because I thought I should be having kid/buying cars/buying houses like all my friends. I was on the outside and I felt alone. We are hardwired to want to belong and when our clan moves in a direction we want to move with them.

    It's hard to remember we cannot measure our lives by other people's standard of success. Marriage and kids and fancy houses may be their measure of success - it may not be yours. And that's okay. Chase what you deem success to be and you will be happy when you reach the other side :)

  5. I've never really thought about it that way. Most of my classmates are married now too, and I'm one of the still-single ones. I'd love to get married and have a family as soon as possible, but I know, logically, that I'm not really ready right now. But I'm not very good at experiencing life either because I tend to let my fears and anxieties get in the way. Maybe I just need to open myself up to some more new experiences and get out of my comfort zone. No risk no reward, right?