I’m sitting here feeling stupid and yet relieved in some strange way. First, let me start by saying I’m 3/4 deep into a bottle of wine … drinking solo. (This may explain things)
I am alternating between bopping along to the music in the background while painting and tearing up while checking my phone every 2 seconds for a text/message/snapchat/whatever connecting me to my new summer friends. I say “summer friends” because these are all 20-something-year-olds I work with at my summer gig … and I’m pretty sure our friendship is as seasonal as the job. Tonight, while reviewing the remaining schedule, I realized how little I would be seeing many of them. So now, not only am I losing the dream job (and MY GOD it is a DREAM job), but I’m also going to have to say goodbye to people who have become special to me ..a lot sooner than I want to.
It’s not just them … it’s who they’ve brought out in me that I’m going to miss. They reminded me what it’s like to have your whole life ahead of you. To be so casual about life because there’s so much to live. To have no bigger problem than what to wear on your next date. It’s a fearless kind of life. One with SO many possibilities. It’s not one that’s tied down and stuck like mine. It’s not lost in a mortgage and a marriage. It’s not half-lived where starting something means starting over. It’s free. It’s limitless. It’s young.
I’ve never considered myself old. Quite the opposite in fact … I’m quite the Peter Pan. Most people think I’m at least 10 years younger than I actually am and I certainly don’t cause them to question that assumption by acting my age. But damn…. by comparison to these “kids” … I feel old. And for all the wrong reasons.
It’s not because I have a dad bod that aches more with each new day. It’s not because I have gray hair and wrinkles. It’s not even because I started college the year most of them were born (ugh) … It’s because where I am (wife, kid, house, responsibilities) puts me bottom on their list for hanging out. I’m not the guy they’d call to meet up for a drink because, honestly, I wouldn’t be able to (or “allowed” to is more accurate). I’m not someone who can invite them over to crash on my couch and watch a movie or come get drunk on my back deck at all hours of the night. I’m just the …well, I don’t know what I am, but I’m not THAT person to them and that makes me feel old and unwanted.
Don’t get me wrong, they make me feel loved and accepted as part of the their circle … but I can feel myself standing on the outside of an unspoken inner circle, knocking on the door, asking to join. This is probably all in my head … but it’s how I feel, nonetheless.
Did I say something about all of this made me feel relieved? I did! It’s because I’ve needed to cry for quite some time and have allowed myself to get some numb that I physically couldn’t. So, as much as it sucks to be crying over my lost youth as it pertains to my seasonal 20yo friends … at least I can feel something. But that kinda sucks too.