- originally posted 7-29-06
When I was fifteen I had a good friend named James who was twenty-five. James was the epitome of cool: he was a single GI who lived on his own, listened to the kind of music he wanted to listen to, and after leading a life of sin had come to Christ. James took the time to befriend me and hang out with me and for the 2 years that he was there, we were good friends.
I remember thinking that at twenty-five, how old James was. He was a man. Sure, his room was still messy and, looking back on it, his life was in shambles, but I remember looking up to him because he was an adult...yet still cool.
Now, I'm about the age that James was when I admired him and I still feel like the 15 year old kid, admiring the adult. I feel so young. I don't feel like a grown up. I feel stunted. I feel like something is missing or perhaps was missed a long time ago.
I guess there's this checklist of things I've always thought you have to do in order to be an adult:
A) go to college (okay, I did that);
B) Graduate from college (crap!);
C) Get a good job after you graduate from college (Um, I chose to be a musician, does that count? Or maybe the 7 jobs I've had since college - do those count?);
D) Get married (Okay, I did this, but most of the time I feel so unsuccessful at being a good husband that I don't really count this as part of growing up);
E) have kids (please, God, not for a while).
Great, on the grown up scale, I'm 1 for 5.
I still like to play Madden on my Playstation2 (a step up from the Super Nintendo I had in high school). I still listen to Hootie and the Blowfish, as well as Ben Folds Five, Counting Crows, BoyzIIMen and Mariah Carey on a regular basis. I like to drink orange juice from the carton. I abhor household chores. I love my dogs, but hate the responsibility of taking care of the dogs. I like to take naps in the middle of the day, and if I had my way I would never go to work again....I mean I really like to sleep. In fact, I'm really wanting to open up a market for jobs that require you to sleep for 10 hours straight and get paid for it.
I guess I'm just trying to figure out when I'm going to grow up. I still find so much joy in the things that make me a kid, and at the same time find myself frustrated by the fact that I find joy in those things. I find myself still looking to people who are few years older than them and always looking to them as the "adults" in my life. I always think that by the time I get to where they are, I will feel like an adult. But every new year brings a disappointment with where I am in life.
And on top of it all, the thing that makes me feel most like a child is the thing that I love the most: music. I know that eventually I'll have to give up music, if I haven't found some success by some time in my life, but I still have this silly optimism and the ability to daydream while my head tells me that pessimism is the adult response to my current status in the music industry.
I'm James. My room is still messy. My life is in shambles. But somehow I'm happy. Sure there is some disappointment and there are some regrets, but I find myself happy with the fact that I still love life, I have a beautiful wife who loves me, I have a church of people who love me and I love in return; and I get to do something that makes me feel like a kid.So the question remains: when do we grow up? I hope it's not for a long time. But I'm sure most people in my life hope it's soon. But we can't all get what we want, can we? We'll see who wins out.
(I have a pretty good feeling it's going to be me)