Thursday, February 9, 2017

Teenage Goals

Lydia also asked:
When you were a teenager, what did you think your life would be like at this point? How many of the goals you had back then have you reached? How many of those goals have changed over the years?

When I was a teenager, I really couldn't picture myself living past twenty-five. So the short answer looks like this:
Q. When you were a teenager, what did you think your life would be like at this point?
A. Over.

("It is a sobering thought, for example, that by the time Mozart was my age, he had been dead for two years." ~Tom Lehrer)

I wanted... I don't know how to express it, really. I was a strange, precocious, mostly-solitary kid. I did a lot of writing - two or three hours, every night. I wanted to have a tribe, to have people who understood me and with whom I belonged, but I was also well aware that I wasn't very good with people. I didn't date much -- not because other people weren't interested, but because I was so baffled by the social rituals involved in dating. I didn't get it, I didn't have a lot to offer (in the sense of knowing what I would need to do to conduct and maintain a romantic relationship), and as a result I really didn't try.

I think I did eventually achieve most of those goals, though it wasn't easy sailing. I did find a tribe of sorts, but at the time I didn't realize that it was possible (let alone inevitable) that sometimes you just outgrew your relationships with other people. And, of course, I did manage to reconnect with and eventually get married to the Beautiful Woman, which definitely counts as a win.

I did think I'd have published something by now, and with some minor exceptions that hasn't yet happened; but I got a wonderful wife and two extremely awesome kids instead, and I consider that a more-than-fair trade.

The best way I can think to express what I was like as a teenager is something I wrote in response to... no, never mind, I have no idea how to summarize that. Just read it.


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  2. That was too funny. Thanks for answering my question and for sharing that link.


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