Disconnected

I want to emphasize I am not perfect, I never claimed to be, and I know I never will be.

However, I find the older I get and the more I learn about my family, the more disconnected I feel from them. This is especially true of my father. It amazes me how I had the best relationship with him as a kid, but as an adult, it’s the polar opposite. I suppose that’s the curse of losing one’s innocence.

The biggest barrier is my attempts to learn financial responsibility. It really astounds me no one – absolutely no one – in my (immediate) family has any clue about finances, and at this point, it’s now a case of being unable to teach an old dog new tricks. My biggest mistakes – attending college when I wasn’t ready and financing my first car with a co-signer – came out of pressure, but the upside is those mistakes made it abundantly clear my family, no matter how much I love them, are not the people to go to for life advice. Regarding cars particularly, knowing about them does not correlate with having any financial sense.

For the record, I am aware financing a car can be a good decision. However, my father makes barely more money than me (I bring in roughly $2K a month), but his car payment plus insurance nearly equals my household’s rent. And in all the years he had to save money with his late girlfriend paying most of their household expenses (including rent), he never did. Simultaneously, my dad complains constantly he hates living with his dad. Find the problem.

I taught myself planning, budgeting, and saving, and as of late, I’m learning about investing, which a good friend got me started on. Am I perfect? Absolutely not. But I reached the point I’m able to plan out a month’s worth of expenses, and move them around as needed. Though I have a bad habit of frivolous spending I’m trying to kick, I stick to my budget, including savings, and I don’t sacrifice bills for pleasure. The bit of money I spend frivolously is the remainder after all my week’s expenses are paid.

It’s indeed strange to be berated for trying to be responsible, and I feel the more I try to pull myself together and recover from my mistakes, the more distant I grow from my family. It’s truly not something I like, but have no clue how to fix. How do you re-connect with people you can’t talk to, you can’t look up to, you can’t trust with advice? I don’t mean my personal goals. I can’t talk to them about the future, about finance, about feelings, about anything. How do I re-connect without feeling like I’m making myself small?

If you know, please teach me.

“Children Are The Future!”

…until when?

This is an expression I noticed goes in a cycle.

I remember as a kid (age still in single digits) in summer camp, the counselors taught us a song about how “we” (the present kids) are the future.

My 27th birthday is next month. I don’t think I’m the future anymore.

Exactly how long are kids the future?

Legally speaking, childhood lasts until the age of eighteen. But life does not, and it goes without saying people are in their twenties (especially under 25) are considered adults only in the legal definition of the word. One of my former bosses told me I’m a baby after I told him I was 23. Barring premature death, 18-year-olds are still have a long future, but no one is singing about how young adults are the future.

No one idealizes teenagers either. In fact, the teen years are notoriously hated because they’re not adorable cherubs anymore, but they’re still too young to be (legally) kicked out of the house. Nobody gushes about cute teen clothes or posts a thousand pictures of a cute thing their teenager did (that’s a good thing!). So, I’d argue few people consider teenagers the future either. At least, not unless they’re joking the future is doomed, thanks to whatever stupid trend is currently getting attention on the internet.

That leaves kids under the age of 13. That’s a very short future.

I was born in 1994, so I’ll use that as an example. After 2007, I was no longer the future. I still had a (terrible) future, but as far as society was concerned, I was no longer “the future”.

Here’s a hopefully not-too-crazy question: Why is the future always romanticized? Why does nobody care about the present?

Presumably, the thought is the present sucks (and I wholeheartedly agree!), but the future eventually becomes the present. If the future is bright, but the present sucks, and the bright future eventually becomes the sucky present, why do we continually look forward to the future? This cycle never stops, which ultimately means it never gets better.

That was certainly a depressing revelation.

Children are the future in the sense they will grow and age over time. But at 13, 18, 25, 30, they are still the future. I’d argue anyone with at least twenty years left to live is the future. But kids are cute blank slates, so it’s much easier to picture a bright future of them before they reach that future.

Every terrible person in history started out as an innocent baby imagined to have a bright future.

It’s (not really) funny children are considered so important for the sake of the future, yet in the present, they’re treated more as things than people. My existence is the product of two people who went “oops” and didn’t know what else to do. So are their existences. And that’s the story for nearly half of all pregnancies in the United States.

Put the pitchforks down! I didn’t say unplanned parenthood equates to being a bad parent.

My point is one would rationally assume if children are the future, and it’s so important, more thought would be put into having a child than what’s for dinner next week. But until recently, having kids was thought of as more “that’s what people do”, to the point it was considered absurd to not a parent. Not having kids is more acceptable today, but there remains certain groups and people (particularly highly religious, but not always) who believe not becoming a parent equates to failing in life. The most common reason given is it’s selfish not to have them, completely ignoring the only possible unselfish reason for having a child is being forced to. Not to mention it’s completely natural to act in the interest of one’s own life. That’s the point.

The retort to that is usually it’s natural to want kids. Homosexuality is natural too, but that’s condemned to the point of being a crime in some countries. Next!

I strayed far from my original point…

To sum all this up, I agree children are the future. They can’t not be. However, they don’t stop being the future when people stop singing songs about it.

People stop being the future when there no longer is a future – bright or dystopian – to look forward to. Maybe the present sucks because more time is spent fantasizing about what can be done later instead of now.

“What Do You Want To Be When You Grow Up?”

At seven years old: A veterinarian! (Yes, I could really pronounce that as a small kid.)

At sixteen years old: An artist.

At nineteen years old: An animator.

At twenty years old: A paid blogger?

At twenty-one years old: A livestream gamer?

At twenty-six years old: I have no idea.

My 27th birthday arrives this year. Is it too late?

Loneliness

It’s amazing one can have a partner and still feel lonely.

Maybe the nostalgia isn’t completely dead. Okay, for my school days, it is, but I’m starting to feel there is one thing that could make me want to relive high school: my friends.

I miss them.

Recently, one of my friends – or, I suppose, former friend now – cut contact with me entirely. I will never know why. The last he told me, he wasn’t well and wanted to be alone. I apologized, as that was the first time he mentioned it, wished him well, and said I hope he feels better soon. He thanked me for it.

A day later, I was blocked. Ouch.

Obviously, I’m not entitled to anyone’s friendship, so it’s absolutely his right to no longer be friends with me. But knowing that doesn’t stop me from wishing I knew why.

I hated high school with a passion that rivals the sun’s fire. But I miss walking home with my best friend every day. I miss my friends and I getting together during lunchtime in the courtyard. I miss when we would play in the leaves while we waited outside during fire drills (two students were suspended for that; we still did it).

It’s no wonder “best friends forever” is aimed at teenagers. Most friendships can’t stand that test of time.

It’s life, I know. It happens. It also makes me understand people who seemingly can’t be single. Loneliness can kill people. I’m not afraid to be alone, and at times, I prefer it, but contrary to belief perpetuated by the internet, being introverted doesn’t stop me from wanting time with my friends. But most have little time, as do I, I recently lost one, and some no longer live in the same state. That leaves my boyfriend as the most free one. Much as I love him, I still miss my friends.

When I told my boyfriend I’m unsure I want to live beyond Dec 31st of this year, or beyond my next birthday if I live beyond the former date, he insisted he would see to it I live a long life. The implications of that aside, I really can’t help wondering what this obsession is with having a long life. Even as a teenager, I didn’t see the point, but with the future absent of light, I’m more confused at 26 than I was at 16. I mentioned in a previous post I think I’ll always struggle with depressive feelings, and I certainly don’t want to fight that struggle for the next fifty years. That’s not “brave” to me. As I said in my last post, I’m simply stuck. I’m not here because I want to be here. I’m here because I can’t take myself out. My existence wasn’t my choice, but I’m stuck with it until I can access a sure solution to solve it.

Only music distracts me somewhat from these feelings, but the music has to go off eventually.

The End Of A Decade

The 2010s are almost over. I must admit it’s been an eventful decade for me, especially since its start was terrible! The same could be said for the first decade era I lived through (2000 – 2010), but I don’t remember much before 2006.

Occasionally, I wish I remained in my hometown and grew up with my childhood best friends, especially since there was ultimately no good reason for moving as much as I did, let alone to new cities (my mom didn’t get along with people). Reconnecting with my childhood best friend via Facebook only serves to strengthen that wish. It’s to the point I’ve made sims and stories based on what my life could be like if I never moved. It’d likely be the same, but it’d be in the place I called home and the events of 2010 (which I call the worst year of my life) would’ve never occurred.

Of course, I wouldn’t have my current best friend, nor any of the friends I have now, and I possibly would have a more distant relationship with my boyfriend since it’s harder to get to where he lives from my hometown than from where I live now. There’s a reason I’d be content burning every year of my life that preceded 2011, and that particular year is only because it’s the one where I met my best friend. Otherwise, I’d burn every year before 2015, when I met my boyfriend. If I didn’t have him, I’d burn every piece until July 2019 when I got my current job.

Cheesy as it is, the power of love and the power of friendship are real. It may be a bit unhealthy, but I’m not kidding when I say my friends and my boyfriend are the only reason I care about my life. Yes, my family is excluded from that because, as much as I love them, I strive not to be like any of them. They’re terrible role models.

The one thing I can say is almost every year of this decade had a major event. Sadly, the one in 2010 is the biggest one, and it’s another reason I’d burn that year to utter ashes if I could. I’m going to skip that one and start with 2011 because I simply do not want to talk any more about 2010 right now.

  • 2011: I met my best friend of now eight years (and counting)
  • 2012: Nothing! I would say I turned 18, but that age really changes nothing.
  • 2013: No more high school! I’m free! Hallelujah!
  • 2014: I learned community college sucks and dropped out.
  • 2015: I met mi amor, and as of January 2020, we will have known each other for five years (and been a couple for 4 1/2)!
  • 2016: My first job, which I was foolishly excited about. If only I could’ve foreseen how much I’d grow to hate it.
  • 2017: I’d say being promoted to full-time, but that was an utter disaster and is the reason to refuse to ever try for a higher position again. So nothing for this year too.
  • 2018: Back to school, and it was a waste of time and money.
  • 2019: The year of the jobs! Counting a second job I’m about to start (that pays more than my current, but is seasonal), I will have had six jobs this year! Seven if I count the school’s internship and eight if I count my recent venture into DoorDash. I’m happy with my current job, though. Just wish they would stop sending people home early every day! Tax time is going to be fun. Six jobs will owe me a tax form (not seven; DoorDash sends a form only if a dasher makes $600, and I doubt I’ll hit $100).

I am looking forward to 2020 – mostly to celebrate five years with my boyfriend and hopefully going on the special trip I’m trying to save up for to be our five-year anniversary special – but I’m also scared of what the next decade will hold. I hate I’ve lived where I currently am for almost ten years. I certainly don’t want to live here for another ten.

One of my high school classmates has a master’s in psychology and recently got an internship she was aiming for. She graduated a year before I did, and she has definitely accomplished a lot in those seven years. My best friend, six years after graduation, is going to comic and anime conventions, and having the time of her life, often in NYC. I’m so happy for both of them, but I admit I wish my life was thrilling like theirs are. Unfortunately, I couldn’t care less for school or conventions, so those things wouldn’t make me happy. Aside from where I live, I genuinely am happy with my life, but I really don’t know if I have any exciting interests. Strangely, I did achieve something none of my friends have yet: my driver’s license and a car. But that probably still pales in comparison to being on the way to becoming a therapist or being a regular at conventions. Maybe I’ll find something someday. Maybe not. I guess that’s the pitfall of liking a quiet life where your favorite spot is beneath your bed covers. Too bad quiet can’t be exciting.

If nothing else, I want the 2020s to be the decade I finally accomplish my ultimate goal: moving into my own apartment!

And a passport. I want to get that just to have it.