Posted on | March 28, 2007 at 6:23 pm | 1 Comment
Not a lot of humor or pop culture references in today’s entry. So please move along if you’re not into my masturbatory self-analysis…
In today’s Dilbert Blog (go read it now), Scott Adams asks the question “What’s your permanent age?” This is something I’ve actually given a lot of thought to lately. I’d have to say that my permanent age is around 12 (slightly pre-adolescent). I’ve always been into a lot of the same things that boys of that age are: comics, video games, SF/Fantasy, TV, gadgets, toys, animation, movies, new music, cool stuff, sophomoric humor, independence, etc. I think this is one reason I’ve had so much trouble the past 10 months taking over my father’s life, even to the point of having to go into therapy and all. Being 12 all your life and then suddenly having to grow up when you’re 46 can be quite a shock to the system. And then when you also throw an actual stable adult romantic relationship into the mix… well, the times they are a-changin’.
It’s not like I have a big problem with responsibility, as long as I’m the only one I’m responsible for. In my teen years I did find myself somewhat responsible temporarily for people (family members) and for duties beyond what the usual teenager goes through. It did make me grow up some, but the eternal 12-year old within my body fought it tooth and nail, a conflict that I’m sure is responsible for a lot of the dysfunctions I’ve exhibited over the years. When it came time to be responsible for only myself again, I threw myself into that, probably to the point of isolation, emotional distance, and selfishness. And that kind of thing is not very attractive to the opposite sex. I do sometimes wonder if the reason I’m in a stable relationship now is because of the quick growing-up I had to do last year. And my increasing work responsibilities and the fallout from that over the last few years also helped to nudge me in that direction. Maybe acting like an adult really does make you an adult. I highly recommend it. It’s much better than acting out junior high school-level dramas like I’ve seen from some grown ups. I’m not trying to say that I’m somehow now suddenly some paragon of adulthood and responsibility (I am self-righteous and judgmental, but not quite that self-righteous and judgmental), just that I’m beginning to see things from the other side of the fence after all this time. Also, I’m not saying that becoming a parent or being responsible for another life automatically makes you grown up – I can think of plenty of immature parents and caregivers.
Adams also asks if you’re the kind of person who lives in the present or the future (or the past?). Like him, I totally live in the future. The example he gives about imagining the movie being over as soon as he sits down to watch it (no matter how good the movie) is so totally me. For another example, as soon as my monthly massage starts, I already start worrying about it being over and planning what I’m going to do next. But I’ve found that another thing about being in a committed relationship is that it does make you appreciate the importance of living in the moment more, and I’ve tried to adjust my entire outlook to that mindset as much as I can. It’s hard. It’s really hard. It’s one of those things that my therapist wants me to work on.
But at least I can say I don’t live in the past. No matter how weird it is to live in the future and to always be looking forward to (or dreading) what comes next, that can’t compare to the dysfunction of constantly reliving your past glories to the point where you ignore the present and the future completely. We all know people like that.
Now if only I could do something about my passive-aggressive ways.
Cow-orker conversation today:
Me: “Why do I enjoy giving MJ such a hard time?”
Pilto: “Maybe because you’re a dick?”