its interesting seeing peoples lives develop. its hard to notice your own because youre in it every day, so the only changes youre aware of are minor and incremental. like looking at a picture of yourself from five years ago versus seeing your face in the mirror every morning; its the photo that we stare at in awe, not the daily reminder in the bathroom.
its bizarre - to me anyway - to see so many of my friends on facebook with photo albums of their weddings and sometimes even entire folders dedicated for their children. ive noticed 90% of all my high school friends have moved the hell out of southern california (or california entirely) and headed to the midwest or east coast. i dont blame them. average rent here for an apartment is $1600/month. ive always said that socal is a great place to grow up and come back to, but a terrible place to find yourself. from 1-18, theres no better place in the world. amazing weather, entertainment opportunities, the central social hub of the entire world is here. and when youre in your 50s and youre financially and personally established and secure, theres no better place to enjoy life with so many vessels of culture, vacations, and beautiful getaways at your fingertips. but from ages 20-40? despite what you see on television, thats actually the smallest "living-on-your-own" demographic in socal by far. outside of the ridiculously rich families and their spoiled offspring, no one lives on their own from ages 21-35. and if you do happen to find one, you can chalk it up to some type of very lucky or successful connection.
back in the day you used to wonder what your friends from high school and college were up to. that was the whole mythical draw to high school reunions; to see them again for the first time, to make up some fantastic lie about what youve been doing, and then smile and try to avoid your ex for a few hours. but now you can see what theyve all been up to. hell, you can see what theyre all thinking and doing at this very moment. right now my friend jaclyn from 8th grade is "going to see the watchmen." cool. so hey remember that time you had a crush on me and asked me to the sadie hawkins dance and i said no because nicole asked me first (even though when she asked i said no to her too)? yeah, sorry about that. but hey enjoy the watchmen. theres about 10 minutes of glowing smurf dong in it.
its just weird. you know everyone but they dont know you. you have a window into everyones life and... they dont care. you can think, "wow, he got fat," or, "she ended up with him!?", or, "i see youre still an alcoholic 14 years later." you can see this and think this and it doesnt affect their outcome or yours. its like a strange, slow, warped picturebook movie of your life and it just goes on and on and on, every day.
i think the strangest part of this is, i dont feel any older than i did twelve years ago. i mean im wiser. i have more knowledge of the world and its inner workings in general. and im more patient. but i dont feel any older. i could wake up tomorrow at 7:15am and head to mr. bricks social studies class and id feel totally fine. i can see and hear and imagine it all like it was this morning. i dont feel 30 (jesus christ). i still have dreams about changing the world and having fun and believing theres a deeper meaning to life and its crazy, insane collection of stories and souls and episodic, heart-breaking events. should someone closing in on mid-life still have that naive, hopeful outlook on life? that theres more to all of this than balancing budgets and 401k plans and stock options? is it unhealthy to feel, deep down, that none of that really matters?
ive yet to find my place in this world. and it may never come.
but im eating cinnamon toast crunch right now.
and i feel pretty okay with that.