The Lost Years

September 15, 2009

An event that I would have assumed spelled the destruction of the universe and the end of all life on Earth has happened to me. I guess I should have seen it coming; I’m 27, my high school classmates are 26 or 27, and every day on Facebook, I see some reference to marriage: an engagement, a fancy proposal, wedding pictures, children being born, honeymoon plans…

Father and Son © WisDoc
Father and Son

A friend of mine who I would have pegged as the last person on Earth to get married has… – no, he didn’t tie the knot – but he actually started talking about it, considering the fact that he’s 26 and not dating anyone seriously. This buddy of mine is on the fast track in Los Angeles: zipped over there straight after high school without looking back, landed a job as a sound engineer with a great label, and spends his time commuting between the UK and the states. Not too bad a gig.

I guess you could say the same about me. I graduated from university, made my way to Japan for a few years, volunteered in Thailand, did walkabouts in New Zealand, lived on a Buddhist monastery, skydived over Mt. Doom, ate blowfish without dying (not likely, anyway), beat the bad buys, loved the maidens fair…

But I still feel as though I’m giving up on a great deal, on the potential wife and kids who don’t quite exist… yet. On the other hand, after experiencing life with some WWOOFing hosts this week and remembering just how a 2- and 6-year-old behave 24/7 (screaming; nonstop screaming), I wonder if the only reason people get married and have kids in the first place is maybe they’re just not thinking about it. Running on emotion alone, not planning to start a family, just having things fall where they may. Maybe that’s why I’ve heard more low-income, less intelligent couples have children. Maybe I’m wrong; like I said, I am a novice.

Both scenarios scare me. A life with no life, no privacy, no hygiene, no freedom… and a life alone. This doesn’t even necessarily take travel out of the equation, but those with kids certainly have to think twice about where they’ll go and what they’ll do. I don’t. I can accidently walk into an active volcano and feel completely guilt-free about my actions; after all, no one is following close at my heels.

I guess I’m looking too far ahead. I’ve dated plenty of women, but I’ve never met someone with whom I would want to spent a few months, let alone a lifetime. Why must I be so picky? Because now women who aren’t the least bit interested in travel have no appeal for me, mentally (let’s ignore the physical aspect for the moment). Women who aren’t up to date on world affairs and curious about the history and issues of the nation which they occupy have nothing to offer me in the long term. Women who haven’t quit their jobs on the spur of the moment, continue to do crazy things in the middle of the night, run because it feels like it’s what we’re meant to run, or looked at a guy and thought about more than his clothes and haircut, mean nothing to me. I probably couldn’t hold myself to similar standards from the other side.

The bottom line is: these things really didn’t concern me at all when I was 24. Not so much when I was 25 and 26. But time is creeping up, and it almost feels as though I have to make a conscious choice, an intention to continue living as I have been, or make a concentrated effort to try and meet someone and find my future. 27 is a weird age; it seems as though I’ve come so far from being a kid, when in actuality so little time has passed. I’ll just have to keep in mind:

– I can’t measure my worth in the eyes of others
– I’m still growing; maybe I will reach the point where I completely want to be someone else

In any case… I’m in Wanganui for another few days; will leave to check out a cherry blossom festival in Palmerston North on Saturday. That’s right – the Japanese influence is neverending.

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2 Responses to The Lost Years

  1. Lola on September 26, 2009 at 5:35 pm

    “I can’t measure my worth in the eyes of others”

    Turner, that is the key statement right there. I always go by God’s time is best. Travel is crucial to your existence, to your identity as a person and that would always be an important part of your life.

    Now, those thoughts of settling down are only natural as we really weren’t created to be alone, but things happen at God’s time. At your own natural time.

    Travel brings a certain rush to one’s life, but locking eyes with and smiling at the one you truly love brings on a higher rush.

    It will happen. Whether at 27 or 47. It will at its own time.

  2. Tbug on August 5, 2010 at 8:29 pm

    I know this is an old post but I just came across it now….I totally agree with you in this. Most of my friends are looking for a guy with a “ambition”, a good job, nice car and wants to “settle down”. None of that stuff interests me, if a guy hasn’t been out there and wants to see more indefinitely, then I can’t relate. And they can’t relate to me. I chose travel over marriage and a family and sitting at 35yrs old, I can almost safely say that this is the choice that I can’t go back on, nor would I want to. Although I used to think that I would be fine flying solo endlessly, I have come to a point where it would be nice to have a partner to share my life with, or at least parts of it. It is possible to have both. Although I don’t think I agree with the comment stated that “locking eyes with someone you love brings a higher rush than travel”, I will say that I need both forms of the rush and that’s what I aspire to have.
    As for kids…I volunteered with children in South Africa last year and a couple of them have come to be a big part of my life, albeit from afar. They satisfy my maternal instincts and it’s more than good enough for me.
    But you should follow your own path, whatever that may be. Don’t look to others for what is right for you. Be your own person and make the choices that you believe will make you happy, whatever that may be.

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