Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Age is Just a Number

Surprise surprise! I've decided to revisit the world of blogging. I told someone on Facebook a month or so ago that my blog was not "on hiatus", but that my blogging days were in fact over. Clearly, I was thinking too rashly. Today I return with a post that is rather personal, but one that I feel the need to divulge. Looking at the title of my blog, you would probably assume that this post will be about love transcending the barrier of age when it comes to marriage. Well, you're wrong. This blog is about how I am 18 years old, yet I don't live the life of a typical 18 year-old. Sociologically, I am younger than 18. Psychologically, I am older than 18.

I'm an 18 year-old university student who is unemployed, and without a driver's licence. I *still* haven't gone for my Learners test (see I Have No Drive to Drive). These days, it seems, you can't have a social life if you don't drive, or don't have money to go out. I'm currently in my two month university semester break. The last day of semester was the 1st of June; it is now the 29th of June. I haven't seen my friends at all in this time. Not once. In fact, the only time I've left the house to go somewhere was when my mum and I went to see a concert in the city a few weeks ago. I would have invited my friends instead of my mum, but I don't think any of them would care for the music of Neil Finn. This blog is not about bad-mouthing my friends. I realise that my friends *have* invited me places, but I have declined, sometimes without citing a reason. They usually ask me to come out with them to a local club, but I don't see the appeal in it. They like drinking alcohol more than I do, and they like playing the pokies, which I don't like doing at all. I can't go out as easily as they can. I don't have my licence, so I can't just drive straight to a place and meet them all there. I feel like a nuisance when I have to ask for a lift.

But the hardest aspect of all this is the lack of money. On the rare occasion that I go out somewhere, I need to borrow the money from my mother, who does not work and is a pensioner. As you probably know, I don't live with my father as my parents are divorced. My father does not support me at all financially. My older brother is practically the stand-in for my father. There have been many times where I've declined to go out simply because my family could not afford it. Does it make me a selfish and lazy person because I don't have a job to support my family? Yes, it probably does. The truth is, I just haven't been raised with the "traditional family values" that many middle-class families espouse. Neither of my parents undertook tertiary education, and they've never had fancy jobs. Right now, neither of them work. I don't have a father figure who's there to ask me "What is it you want from life?", and help me chase my dreams (not that I have any major ambitions). I don't have a bank account that my parents contribute to in the hope that I'll one day settle down with a wife and kids.

I am spoilt. Not superficially spoilt, in the way that, say, Paris Hilton is. It's just that I'm spoilt with love...from my mother. She's never ordered me to get a job, or to get my licence. She often tells me to live life how *I* want to. She's always been very flexible like that. The main thing that matters to her is that my brother and I are *happy*. Am I happy? I'm never truly happy, but I'm usually content. I have some horrible moods creep over me from time to time, but for the most part, I'm fairly optimistic about life. With all this considered, do I sound like an 18 year-old? I think I sound like a 15 year-old. I'm just not *living* life right now. I should be going out with friends and making a bit of cash to get by, but I'm not. My day consists of watching TV and communicating on social networking sites. Don't feel sorry for me, because it's all my fucking fault.

Now that all the heavy stuff is out of the way, it's time to move on to the part of the blog that will possibly make me sound like a snob. Rest assured, I don't intend to sound like one; I just feel that this topic cannot be adequately addressed without discussion of this. Whilst I am like a 15 year-old sociologically, this is not the case psychologically. I *know* I am smart. There, I said it. Not trying to boast, but if plenty of people have told me this, it must be true. I think there's a link between this lack of social life and precociousness. Because I don't leave my house all that often, I have more time at home to research topics that fascinate me. Sometimes I'll read through random Wikipedia articles, just to learn something new for the day. Ever since primary school, I've had this propensity to learn and pick up things that I overhear. I don't just watch The Simpsons because of the numerous jokes and sight gags. I watch it for the references to pop culture. I was probably only 7 years old when I first saw the episode Treehouse of Horror V. Despite this, I knew that The Shinning was a parody of Kubrick's The Shining. Sure, I didn't know what a 'parody' was, or who Kubrick was, but I spotted the reference because I'd seen bits of The Shining on cable television before. It is this ability to remember fine details and relate them to something else that has made me the precocious being I am today, I believe. As most of you would know, my tastes in music and film are unorthodox for a person of my age. Give me The Beatles over Lady Gaga, and Rear Window over Transformers. This is not a concious choice. I do not think "I want to be more sophisticated than everyone else, so I will immerse myself in classic music and films." It just so happens that my preferences were conditioned in me from an early age.

As a Facebook user, I am becoming increasingly dissatisfied with some of the status updates I read, and some of the ridiculous pages that are popping up. I've seen status updates along the lines of "I wanna have sex with somebody", and there was nothing satirical behind them. The pages, on the other hand, are getting out of control. Not only do many of them contain atrocious spelling, but there are a fair few that are downright rude and disgusting, too. Now, I'm generally not the type of person to get politically correct about such matters, but I feel that too many people are just creating these pages for shock value, taking advantage of the relative freedom of Facebook. Does all this complaining make me seem old? Maybe so. But I think a lot of this 'premature maturity' has to do with interacting with adults on Twitter. I'm sorry, Facebook peeps, but the people of Twitter are more enlightening than you are. I can hold intellectually-stimulating conversations with them, and they are generally more understanding and compassionate than the people of Facebook. Of course, many people have both Twitter and Facebook, like me. It's those who solely use Facebook that are generally the least enthralling. In essence, when you communicate with adults for long enough, a part of you begins to behave and think like an adult.

It's funny, isn't it? I'm so hopeless when it comes to living life. I mean, *really* living it. Earning money and spending it, driving a car, going out, etc. But I guess no one has the right to declare what constitutes 'living'. Conversely, I'm ahead of many people my age when it comes to matters of the mind, whether it be my abounding general knowledge or cognitive thinking. I've been alive for 18 years - my flesh and being have been around for that duration. I'm probably wasting my youth as the days go by, but it will all be better, someday.