Before anything else, a disclaimer: The thing is, I have actually grown wary of people who attribute every mood swing to some broader issue that lies within themselves. I’ve had my fair share of putting up with folks who are depressed every other day or expect you to put up with their melodramas, never taking responsibility for their actions by parading their dad (and/or mom, anxiety, trust and intimacy) issues before you instead.
See, what I find disturbing — and believe me, my standards for what actually qualifies as sinister are pretty darn high so this one really is — is that this age prides itself in its flaws. The time when one owes up completely to his actions has come and gone. These days, it’s easier to chuck every quirk up to whatever condition your psychiatrist/friends-cum-psychiatrist tells you you have. I’ve nothing against people who are genuinely struggling with issues of their own — what I am against is the sense of entitlement kids these days think they have for behaving this way or that, how their personal issues function as (what they think is) a get-away-with-everything pass to excuse themselves from responsibility, or being a decent humam being, at the very least.
That being said, it’s a bit strange to attribute my current mindset and disposition, my recent disillusionment and all else, to what a friend dubbed as an early quarter-life crisis. Yes, I just turned nineteen, and people actually think I’ve purged myself of all the teenage angst regading love and family and the ‘meaning of life’, way too early, and it definitely is a funny idea, but plausible nevertheless. These days, I find that although a crowd would properly gather and laugh if I declare myself an introvert, I still find myself at the end of every week burned out from talking to people and trying to forge connections too much — thus explaining my absence from cyberspace, I just really want to detach and keep to myself more these days.
I think it’s a major shift in preference, in interest. I’ve grown to like intimate conversations more than copious amounts of beer and loud music, grown to appreciating the wisdom of professors and older friends more than ever, and would rather embark on a wayward out of town trip alone to see how my self-declared identity holds up against strange cultures and even stranger people. I’m more discriminating about the company I keep, which I now see isn’t so much a bad thing than I initially thought it was, choosing to admire people who’ve actually gone out, did things and want to do more than those who are eager to bombard you with radical hopes and dreams to make themselves sound interesting — and ah, alas, I realize at one point I’ve been guilty of this.
Now, what I want out of life I’ve anchored upon on the things that truly fuel me, throughout the last few years, regardless of who I’m with and what is important to them. The last person I was seeing was five years older, and also being the eldest, is fending off for his family now. He only chuckled when I’d want to be a lawyer one day and be a physicist the next, and thus had a lot of things to say regarding the familiar insatiability and how I’ll eventually “mellow down.” Thinking about it now, I guess he was right. People do start wanting things and conversing about these on the abstract level, growing older though you begin to concretize and create a specialized function for yourself, and things seem in place once you settle comfortably into this. This moment of epiphany brought me assurance, a semblance of control, which is exactly what I need at this point.
This, however, did not, and should not, compromise open-mindedness. I’m still ever the optimist who believes that everything and everyone can teach us something about the world, or perhaps new ways of seeing it, if given the chance. But I’m also more accepting now of things that just couldn’t be, knowing now that having to force things into place doesn’t make the least logical sense. Maybe timing doesn’t have all the answers. Maybe object in question just can’t be forced into place because it has somewhere else, a better place, to be.
Perhaps when you go out into the world at sixteen at full speed, seeking answers you just aren’t ready to accommodate, you end up exhausted but definitely much more enlightened at nineteen, knowing now that they will come to you in due time. That, and a life expectancy of at least sixty years more if your quarter-life crisis hits you this early.
Plenty more time, I dare say.