flights of fancy free falling fiercely

I had the most sobering IM conversation with a friend last night, shocking enough that, after having to wake up and pee at 5 AM in the morning, I now can’t fall asleep. What he said — almost debonairly, maybe with a slight tinge of regret (it’s hard to read the subtleties of emotion online) — was that he probably had “no time for childish games” such as Starcraft 2, that highly-anticipated game which will inevitably be successful as all Blizzard games are, and whose predecessor we immersed ourselves for so many countless hours throughout high school, throughout college. My mouth nearly dropped to the floor when he said this, for it brought into focus a startling reality: that my friends are growing up.

It is true that this fact, long developing, did not escape my attention for years and suddenly whack me on the side of the head. After all, in the five years post undergraduate, friends have gotten married, completed graduate school, worked their way up the corporate ladder. Even a member of the Sad Men’s Club, self-jokingly infamous for our romantic failures that one college summer, is now engaged. People really do change.

Perhaps it is because I just finished reading if you lived here, you’d be home by now (S. T. Loh). Not the most engaging or luminous book, but its themes struck the right chord at the right time. The protagonist’s struggles to accustom herself to her situation, to forge a new life, to find her place underneath the LA sun. The irresistible draw of money and materialism despite the most bohemian of intentions. That way one’s youthful ideals slowly dissipate, until you are left with only memories, a vague feeling of warmth and naivete.

While I was working, a former coworker said of another (both of whom I admire and respect) that when she (the other), just out of college, started working, she (the other) had “no sense of urgency” when doing her work. It is just now that I realize that this is not so much an indictment against a person or a personality, but rather a symptom — a phase — of growing up. Maturity, or whatever else we wish to call it, is developed through one’s experiences. For most of us, we simply do not have a “sense of urgency” while in the structured life of high school or the freewheeling days of college. Only after having worked for a while, when those deadlines and worries about paychecks whose importance are enforced by our being accustomed to a higher standard of living than our now seemingly squalid college lifestyle, do we start to realize the gravitas of being mature.

Is it really time to drop this mask of youth and innocence, and to don the accouterments of adulthood? I don’t think I’m ready, and I’m not sure I want to.

But what makes me so goddamned special that I don’t have to grow up?

I can blame it on my utter lack of romantic relationships, my contrite or attritional attitude, but at what point does that become disingenuous? Am I not merely holding culpable the symptom instead of rooting the disease? True, not having someone to share in the maturation process, someone who can drag you along when you’re most unwilling, is hindering. But at this point, that is putting the cart before the horse and wondering why things don’t move.

Maybe I don’t want to grow up and want to stay a Toys ‘R Us kid forever. But that isn’t true, either.

Yet, it is so hard to change, to steer a hellbent ship laden with inertia. For what life do I know except the one that I’ve lived? Who can I possibly become but the person that I am? Yes, I am probably too comfortable in my station, too conservative for a complete overhaul. But the status quo will not last. Next year’s Econ 1 students whom I’ll TA will still be 18, now born 1991. And I will be a year older.

Time slowly ticks away, exacting its meticulously torturous edict upon us all. I am not as flexible as I used to be. I can feel my brain forgetting things, slowing down at a glacial pace, but like a glacier, inevitably and forcefully flowing downward, downward.

Perhaps it is time to do something with my life. Perhaps it is time to (*shudders*) grow up. Tempus fugit.

2 Replies to “flights of fancy free falling fiercely”

  1. >Who can I possibly become but the person that I am

    If you had concluded this at 1 year old you’d still be wetting diapers.

    Well that’s not to say…
    Well you’d be wetting baby diapers.

    Either way you will not grow up until you acquire strong strength.

    And for the record I am 26 years old and yes I look forward to Starcraft II.

    I just moved back to bay area from argentina. We should hang out, and not in the “we should hang out but not make any motions to do so” sense. But rather in the “email me your phone number” sense.

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