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Thursday, July 19, 2012

What's My Age Again?

Hello, everyone. This is going to be a confession that is going to be a little bit on the brief side. Mainly because my schedule is sort of jam-packed today, and I won't have a lot of free time today. But if it's any sort of consolation, this confession is one that is one that I've wanted to say for quite some time.

THURSDAY CONFESSION #29: I have always had great difficulty befriending people who are my own age.

Not everyone, mind you. I have a few really close friends who are right around my age, and we all get along wonderfully. But in general, most of my friendships are with people who are at least ten years older than I am.

You know that song by Blink 182 (remember them?) that was all over the radio in early 2000? The one with the title “What's My Age Again?”. I find myself asking that question a lot these days.

Physically, I'm thirty-one years of age. Mentally, I sometimes feel like I am sixty-five. If I'm at an outdoor gathering for families, you'd likely see me maintaining a conversation with people who are at least a decade older than I am. At work, I tend to have firmer friendships with people who are older than I am (though there are some younger co-workers who I get along with as well). In general, I tend to have no trouble with making lasting friendships with people who are older than I am.

But when it comes down to having people my own age, I've always managed to struggle. And, it's not simply because of the fact that I really disliked school when I was a kid because I though many of the kids were mean. I honestly don't know why this is.

I suppose part of it could have been the fact that when I was born, I was really the only child born in my entire family during the early 1980s. My sisters were both at least a decade older than I was, and my cousins were more or less a decade younger than I was. It wasn't exactly the best feeling in the world, knowing that you were essentially the only person that was your age in your whole family. I actually became a little bit jealous of people who had siblings who were closer in age to them, or who ended up having cousins that were in the same class. It didn't matter to me that they ended up fighting a lot when they were together...they always had someone close to them in age, and I didn't.

To complicate things even further, I lived in a neighbourhood that wasn't exactly kid-friendly. Sure, my elementary school was just a couple of blocks away, but I lived on the same street at the city hospital. As a result, a good 95% of the people who lived on my street were over the age of 65. There was nary a child to be found on the street. Again, it made for some rather lonely days as a child.

So, really, when you stop and think about it, I was sort of at a disadvantage. And it became clear to me that the reason why I found it so challenging to befriend people who were my own age was because I simply wasn't exposed to them that much when I was a child. Yes, I did attend school, and yes, I attended a summer camp program in later years...but the rest of the time, I was pretty much left to my own devices.

The strange thing about it was that I had absolutely no problem interacting with people who were older than I was. Whenever my sisters brought friends home, I had no problem talking with them. And whenever I went on an outing, I very rarely hung around the children...I stayed close to the adults. Seeing other kids playing sort of made me a bit nervous upon retrospect because I didn't know how to interact with them at all. On one hand, I was so frustrated because I couldn't figure out how to fit in with them. On the other hand, I knew it was fine, because I knew that I had adults who I could talk to.

Even on my Facebook friends list seems to illustrate the fact that I tend to get along with people who are older than I am. I do have a cross-section of people as far as age goes, and there are some who are close to my current age, but the vast majority are over the age of 35. At first, I thought that it was just a coincidence, but now I'm thinking that there's a reason behind it, just based on what I previously have admitted about myself.

I suppose that I would likely think about this differently if I did have siblings that were close to my age, and if I grew up around kids my own age. But, the truth of the matter is that I really didn't have that opportunity until I went into school. Once I did get into school, I was sort of a loner because I didn't know how to interact with anyone who was not an adult. That's just the way it was.

And, in some aspect, it's just the way it currently is.

And you know something? I'm all right with that.

I am trying to make an effort to get closer to people who are my own age at least, so I guess that's something. But I think I'll always find more in common with people who are older than I am. I've been around them more than I have people my own age, and I feel more comfortable sharing things with them than I do people who are my age or younger.

In fact, I'd probably be more open to the idea of dating someone who was older than I was based on my confession alone. Not that it would actually happen to me, and not that I would actively seek out a woman affectionately known as a “cougar”...just that I would be open to it.

But, as I age, and the people who are older than I am pass away, I may find myself in a completely different frame of mind (and not by choice). But for now, I'll just take the challenges life throws at me, I suppose.

That's all I have for a confession today. It's not very big, and it may not even make any sense to anyone else other than me. But, it's out there now!

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