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These words are my diary screaming out loud

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Do we ever really grow up?

No matter where I've been in my adult life, be it USNA, Navy ships, bar crowds, message boards... there's always something that happens that makes me think wow, that is SO middle school. It got me wondering today, does anyone really ever "grow up?" Do we ever stop calling people names, going behind our friends' backs... basically, are we all stuck in 13 year old mode?

The things that I see my peers, nearing or over 30 years old, doing and saying just amaze me. The quickness to turn, to put people in the middle of situations, to fail to take criticism in any way other than as a personal insult, or to just be downright fake... its amazing. I don't know if its because of the generation gap (Gen X vs Millennial) that I happen to fall right in the middle of. (friends and I have talked at length about how it seems the generation of entitlement starts right around our year group - two recent articles in the Washington Post talk about Millennials versus their GenX and Baby Boomer predecessors, and the end of GenX vs the start of Millennial is somewhere around the 1980 birth year.) I don't know if its the people I've surrounded myself with - but I can't imagine its that, because its been so many different and diverse groups of people. I don't know if it just human nature, although it seems to me this HAS to be the case.

What I do know is that when I was in middle school and dealing with the stupidity of people at that age, I couldn't wait until I was a grown up and got to get rid of it. I had the same thoughts in high school, and in college. Unfortunately, I've been disappointed at every avenue because it seems as though that time, the time of growing out of middle school behavior, has never come. There always seems to be that one person in life that I have to walk on eggshells around, for whom I have to deliberately calculate and rehearse every word I say for fear of setting them off or losing the "friendship." Luckily, in the past few years I've started weeding those people out of my life, but its never easy - sometimes its people that I've known for years, or that I've had some amazing experiences with. But coming to the realization that those people aren't really my friends has been freeing in many ways. Its like a breakup, you know? I miss the fun times, I miss the sharing. It hurts, especially at first, realizing that someone that was a part of my life is no longer. But, deep down, I know that my life is better off without those people, and it becomes more and more evident as time goes by.

Don't get me wrong - there are parts of being in middle school that I'd love to return to - no bills to pay, no job to get up for every day, no worries about working out or getting old... you know, the good stuff :) But when it comes to my relationships with other people, I'm all about being a grown up, thank you very much. I just wish everyone else was too...

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