Immaturity

I have always been immature, in every respect.

Teachers noted it on my report cards, though academically I was fine.  At my thirteenth birthday dinner, my parents asked the Chinese waiter to guess my age and he went with ten.  Still got a free fried ice cream with a sparkler on it, but.

As a teenager I was behind my same-age peers in all respects – cried too easily, late to fill out, never had girlfriends, didn’t have a part-time job.  I lacked confidence, was skinny and spotty, and these factors prevented me from grabbing opportunities that would have helped me to grow up.

Things became alarming when I was in my early twenties, at university and still as childish as ever.  I even had zits!  I was smart enough to realize my predicament but I had no idea what I could do about it.  I knew that I needed experiences in order to grow up, but how could I get them?  The independence of living away from home would have been perfect but I didn’t have enough money.  The joys and pitfalls of dating would have been very helpful, but I was having no luck at all in that field.  There’s always travel, of course – but again, no money.

I was stuck in a rut.

Finally life started moving forward, but at every stage since I have been in a state of conscious, though involuntary, immaturity.  When I started proper work and lived with a girlfriend I thought I was finally grown up, but then she left me and I left the job and ran away to mess around overseas.  Throughout my thirties I have lived like I was in my twenties, wandering here and there, taking up hobbies on a whim, being shamelessly promiscuous, and strenuously avoiding being held down by marriage, children, a mortgage, or anything else that creates grown-ups.

Now that I’m near forty I’ve realized that I will never grow up.  I don’t want to.  I’m not sure if this caused by underdevelopment of my prefrontal cortex, or an over-protected childhood, or something else.  My best guess is that it is because I look at ‘adults’, ones who do all those grown-up things, and I see a lack of joy in their lives.  I see with clear eyes the stress, the frustration, the whips and chains of marriage . . . it is not for me, and I turn away.  No doubt dickycone and others will argue the opposite but that is my perception of the people I know personally.

Others are now starting to note my immaturity in a way they never did before.  I’ve always looked younger than I am, and in one’s thirties immaturity is quite common anyway, but now that I’m forty and have grey in my beard, the fact that I spend my time . . . well, no one really knows how I spend my time, except you.  All they know is that I disappear all weekend, and when I reemerge on Monday they ask me what I did and I say, not much.

This is another reason for moving away from conventional employment.  I’ve gotten away with my childishness for a long time, but now I’m starting to look like a weirdo.  Perhaps I am a weirdo.  I’m cool with that.

Some might suggest that I grow up by committing to an alternative path in life, like a life of study or contemplation or whatever.  I don’t think so.  I reckon that, at my age, only the experience of commitment, child-raising, and all that responsibility could possibly mature me any further.  Or seek a high-level job.  As I don’t intend to do those things, then I guess I will always be a bit of a child.

We must accept the consequences of our decisions.

What will happen to me next year?  Will a life of freedom make me even less mature, make me backslide into my fifteen-year-old self?  Time will tell.

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One comment

  1. luisman · June 20

    Come to Disneyland for Adults. You’ll mature in a year or two and then revert back 😉

    Like

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