Thursday, October 3, 2013

Who Are My People?

I have to be honest: For the past few days, I have been on the verge of tears.  It just seems like I've been having one bad day after another, and my emotions have been gripping me like crazy.  Saturday night, I got so upset over something that I threw the book I was going to read onto the floor, and you know I don't believe in abusing media, especially literature.  The next few days weren't the best, as I panicked and fretted over a completely pointless matter.  Earlier today, I went from being proud to being downcast without anyone saying anything to me.  I don't know what's to be done with my emotions, but I still feel compelled to post this, here we go.

One of the things that people have always wanted me to do is to "hang out" with folks around my age.  There were times, usually at church youth outings, where the leader(s) had to force me to do just that, if only because I would rather not have done so.  Now that I'm past those days, I still do have a social group...just not of people my age.  Oh, sure, my church has a "twenty to forty" group, but it's a considerable distance away, and, since I lack a driver's license and my parents work long hours, I really don't have any way to get there.  That isn't the first time such a thing has happened; I was attending such a group that was sponsored by another church, but had to cease going because the location of the meetings changed, and it was inconvenient for anyone attending to pick me up, because of their close proximity to said meeting place and me being outside of that area.   So, as unfortunate as it would seem to some, I don't have a "social group" of coeval folks to hang out and do stuff with; honestly, I haven't since I lost contact with my friends Korrey and Kevin around 2000.

So, does that mean that I get no social interaction? Of course not! Some of you may not know this, but, at least once every two weeks, my parents go out to dinner with some friend(s), and usually invite me along.  True, those people are usually my parents' age or older, but, honestly, I don't mind it one bit; in fact, I think that is just the way God wants it.  If it weren't meant to be that way, He would provide some way for me to have a "social group" of coeval folks, and He hasn't.

You may wonder: Why would that be the case? Don't I need such interaction? I'll explain it to you, using my usual multiple point style.  First off: I have found that I often can't deal with the immaturity that people my own age often exhibit.  Usually, the reason I ended up sitting by myself--or, at least, not with my coevals--was because someone said something that upset me.  I was once at a social function where we were playing a "guess who this middle name belongs to" game, and someone there guessed mine because, to quote her, "That's a white boy name, and you're as white as they come." I didn't cry or stomp out of the room, but, when they had food later, I got some and found a spot to sit and eat it outside, away from anyone, because it upset me so much.  True, that may have been when I was in high school, but, these days, adults of all ages are getting more and more immature.  I once heard of a case where, during a gathering of young adults, a guy threw a milkshake at someone, and, based on a Facebook comment I saw yesterday, people still remember it; his wife has even said, "He will never live that down!"  If I were a member of that group, I would have refused to come back at that point, even if I wasn't the "victim" of said guy's projectile.  Yet, I have never gotten such a feeling from interacting with older people.

Now, hear me out here: I do realize that not all people around my age--or, really, of any age--are immature.  I know a young lady who is still a teenager, but happens to be one of the most mature individuals I have ever met.  Other people I have known--of all ages--have exhibited maturity that far surpassed that of their peers.  Still, I can't tolerate immature behavior, even from just one person; it seems that there is one in every bunch.

Second off: If I've gone this long without having some sort of "social group"...why would I need one now? In case you didn't see it above, I haven't had a "group" to hang out with since around 2000.  Sure, I had friends in middle and high school, but most of them were ones that I never did anything outside of school or church with.  Oftentimes, I would hear about outings that they went on after the fact, which meant that I wasn't invited.  It was the same way with that group sponsored by the nearby church; though I attended the meetings regularly, some of the other outings they had were ones I didn't know about or realize I had missed until I saw the photos on Facebook, and it wasn't all that long until I became unable to attend at all.

Let me be clear: I do feel that a social life--or, at least, being able to interact with others--is important.  When my oldest sister was alive, my mom had long--as in over a hundred minutes--phone conversations with the same people every week, because she had no other way to have such interaction.  However, focusing on it too much can be a problem; my sister once botched an interview for a internship somewhere because she told the interviewer that she was worried about how it would affect her social life.  Many of you probably had similar missteps when you were new to the working world; still, my point is that your social life shouldn't be an obsession.

Third off: My tastes are simply not the same as coeval folks'. I know that many of you immediately thought of Disney Channel and Nickelodeon when you read those words, and that is part of it.  Still, some of my tastes aren't like kids'; they're like older adults'.  When we have had yard sales at our house, it always seems like the majority of people who come are at least old enough to be my parent, if not older.  Sure, they may have a kid or grandchild in tow, but said young person likely wouldn't be there otherwise.  I've even had elderly people buy some of my items! Seriously, how many people around my age do you know who enjoy bargain hunting? Didn't think so.

Not only that, but, when it comes to people my age, their priorities usually lie in at least one of four areas: school, work, their relationship, and their kid(s).  However, I'm done with school, I only work three days a week, and, I have no plans to get into a relationship or have kids; if Demi Lovato is the closest thing I have to a significant other, I'm fine with that.  Since I have quite a bit of spare time, my interests--entertainment, bargain hunting, etc.--take the place of a relationship and kids.  That's not to say that I wish I had those things; honestly, I sometimes wonder how some parents or even childless married people can do what they do on a daily basis.

My last point before my conclusion: I think I need to learn to be less social.  I've always been known for being talkative; people used to get annoyed with me because I just wouldn't shut up.  There have also been times where I lost friends just because I shot off at the mouth.  Even some embarrassing moments could have been avoided if I'd just kept to myself.  All that is evidence that I simply need to be more introverted.  If that means more entertainment time, so be it.  Frankly, I think introverts are underrated; if more people could just remain quiet, we'd have less problems on this planet.

Now, for my conclusion: Now that you've read what I have to say, you probably see my point(s) and agree with me, right? Great; now, I just have one more person to convince: myself.  I can sit here and type out messages like this that sound great and get "applauded" by my friends and even random commentators...but, it always seems like I end up not convinced of what I've said.  Being on Facebook provides a window into other people's lives, including social events, relationships, and other things that many people would consider "normal" for my age, but of which I have no part.  I've thought for a very long time that it would be easier to accept the fact that I'm not getting my driver's license if everybody and their mother didn't "encourage" me to get it.  It's the same with social events with coeval people; though I know it is for the best that I don't take part in all that, sometimes, when I see photos or other references to them on Facebook or elsewhere, I feel as if I am missing out, and start to become jealous, which isn't good.  Frankly, if this is what God wants for me, I should have peace with it...but I don't, and I'm afraid I never will, and that just makes me want to cry.

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