January 16, 2010

Ramble: 'Growing Up'

When I became a man, I put away childish things...
So I got hired for my first actual teaching position last week, teaching at a nice school about 45 minutes away from where I live. Kids are great, school is top-notch, I'm going to get A LOT of help with my curriculum planning-which means less actual work for me than normal-and there's even attractive, young lady teachers! Plus, in 5 months I'm going to make more than I've ever made in a single year. Very exciting times for me, right?
Well, kinda wrong. As much as I hate being a sub, and HATE being poor, it's still fun to be able to go home and have NOTHING to do aside from play Call Of Duty, ramble on Coach Huey, read, etc. You don't get to live that way very long in your life. The "post-college" years of life are a pretty awesome time for me so far, but I know that they're not only limited, they're rapidly dwindling for me. It's a funny time, in my opinion, because it's the end of some parts of my life and the beginning of others, with pros and cons to each. I'm no longer allowed to be a poverty-struck slacker, I need to take up the responsibilities that come with employment, 'age', and supposed maturity.
But what is it to 'grow up'? I've been saying for years that I don't feel much different than when I was 14 (25 now). I still laugh at ridiculously stupid things, have a sense of humor that-if anything-is getting more unique, watch South Park with more regularity now than 8th grade, and will occasionally forget to bathe for a day or three. I pay income taxes, cook my own meals, and sometimes even fix stuff around the house. I'm put in charge of the education and growth of teenagers in a variety of capacities, and yet most of my immediate friends are recreational (whatever the hell that means) pot heads.

What I think...
I think that growing up isn't just getting older, it's realizing that there's pleasure in taking on things that are difficult or unwelcome. It's reaching a point where you aren't the most important in your world (Ignoring the typical 'erotic' or 'parental' love that springs to mind for most people) and doing things for other people because that's what needs to be done. It's taking the things that used to dominate your time and your world and beginning to moderate them and phase them out of your life at times.
I'm by no means an expert on all this. This is something that's been on my mind a lot recently, but really has been brought to the forefront with recent events. I read a book last week called Do Hard Things, which I'll definitely post about in full at another date, which is geared towards inspiring teenagers to reject the way that society treats them and seek out responsibility, and am currently reading another called Man's Search For Meaning, written by a psychologist Holocaust survivor about his experiences and what he has drawn from them. I got a job, a real job, the first of my CAREER. I've had a series of conversations covering a wide range of stuff with a wide range of people, most having something to do with me and my life. All in all, I've been stewing on being a grown up a lot.

Good gets better...
I think there is no best point in life, if you're doing it right. Every phase of my life just keeps getting better, and better, and better. That isn't to say it gets easier, because that's absolutely not the case. In fact, life has gotten categorically harder, it's almost ridiculous at times. But in overcoming greater obstacles and living up to greater responsibilities, there's greater satisfaction and greater contentment. As I enter this next 'phase' of my life, I'm friggin' excited. I'm ecstatic. I'm eager like you wouldn't believe. I'm all these things because I know that it's going to be the best time of my life, until I enter the phase after that (I'm presuming marriage, but who knows what order things will happen in), which will only be better. So, let the good times roll, but let's also appreciate and enjoy that the easy times have long since sailed.

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