For one of the only times in recent memory, I'm writing, not because I HAVE to write, but because I want to. I've just been thinking lately - nothing major or dramatic has been happening, I'm not struggling with relationships or decisions, I'm not on an emotional high or low - just thinking.
And what I've been thinking about is the nature of the human connection. I just turned 27 two weeks ago, and I'm almost done with college (knock on wood). However, I spend 8 hours a day around high school kids, and much of my free time around other college students who are often much younger than me. A lot of times I expect things from them that I'm once again realizing they haven't reached yet.
Don't get me wrong - I'm not saying I'm so much more mature or wise than anyone else. In many ways I'm probably pretty dumb. But I have learned a few lessons in my quarter-century, and I need to be reminded sometimes that others' paces don't match my own - they'll learn those lessons when their time is right.
It seems like I've always been "goin' on 40" - as in, "He's 12, goin' on 40." I've always been mature for my age in many respects (probably an effect of loving to read), and that's been kind of awesome and kind of terrible. It means that I often get trusted with significant responsibilities, and I (hopefully) do my best to deliver. It also means that, especially when it comes to relationships, I'm usually dealing with an "age gap." I'm at the point where looks are secondary, and conversation and companionship are first and foremost. Where I don't feel stupid for making simple mistakes or taking risks, or asking straight out for what I want. Where I don't feel any obligation to hide my flaws because of What Other People Think - nor do I feel any obligation to share them. The point where games suck.
Most of the people I know and am around all day agree with these things, theoretically. They claim they know all of it from personal experience. But the game-playing goes on and on - the preoccupation with looks or religion or sexuality or something continues unabated. And to me, it's so obvious. I raise my eyebrow at the folks who think nobody knows about the games they play. Sure, ladies and gents, you may not be playing Candyland anymore, but chess still counts as a game....
I probably sound disgruntled, and I'm not really. Just mildly disappointed, I guess, but also hopeful. There have to be a few kindred spirits out there, the select few who are actually 15 years older than their age. One day I'll find one (who is Mormon, straight, beautiful, and talented. Ha! The irony!) and we'll connect, finally. I just have to be ready to move on when the time is right so that can happen.