Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Conforming to the age stereotype

I can't tell you how many times I've heard the phrase, " You're young you should be partying it up, dating a ton of girls, bla,bla, bla. Maybe that's true. However, I've come to realize how people's actions are so often times determined by what they think people their age should act like, not by what they actually feel.

Let's start off by discussing the stereotypes of the stages in life. The 20's are about finding out what you want to do, who you want to be with, living free, and partying hard. The 30's you might find a wife, start a family, buy your first house. The 40's you are deeply ingrained in family life and are supposedly established and settled. The 50's you watch your kids graduate from high school and college, think about retirement, reminisce on your younger years. These are all stereotypes, most of them true, about what happens in each stage of our lives. But my question is, why it has to be this way? I guess the answer is simple. People naturally conform to societal standards. It only makes sense if most people do it you either are left out or join in.

Most people think the 20's are the best. You're young, no kids or wife, usually have no mortgage, no college tuition bills to pay for. However, when you think about it, the 20's are a scary time. I'll always remember my dad saying "I'm enjoying life at 57 now more than I ever have." It seems silly when you first hear it. People tend to think getting older automatically means lower quality of life. Sure, it definitely differs depending on who you talk to. But the more I think about it, the more I think he may be on to something. I'm 24 and have no clue what I want to do with my life, no clue whether or not I'm ready for a committed relationship, and am a job lay off away from moving back in with my parents. Sure, I can still party hard and not be considered a total screw up, but for me at least, I'd rather have stability. I've always believed and lived a routine stable life. Many of my friends even call me "old man" and in a way I guess I am. It's not that I hate going out to bars or anything, because they can be fun, especially when Jumbo Slice pizza is involved. It's just that I'd rather spend the day like I did last Saturday, reading and writing on the river, playing basketball, and capping the night off with a movie. Some may call it not getting out of my comfort zone, and maybe they're right. However, why is it that just cause we are a certain age we have to do certain things. We get one life, why not live it how we want.

Age really is just a number anyway, right? I've met a lot of people my age that act like their in high school. On the other hand my 19 year old sister is probably more mature than me. Where do these unwritten rules form? Who said when you hit 30 you have to settle down? If you find a great girl, that's awesome but if not just enjoy life. On the other hand, who said just cause your young you can't be in a committed relationship. I've fallen victim to this age rule myself. Sometimes my rationalization for staying single is I am too young to settle down, but what is my excuse going to be when I'm 35?

I'm hoping by writing this maybe I can take my own advice. Thanks everyone for reading and your comments are always appreciated. Have a great night.

Next entry: All men in relationships are whipped to some degree.

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