Getting older

I’m getting older. It’s not profound. At the end of the day, it’s probably better that I keep getting older. I figure if I stop doing that, I’d have to start commenting on how well I’m being dead. I’m thinking more about getting older as my birthday approaches. This year I’ve been thinking way too much about it. I’m turning 37. I know, some of you that are reading this figure that’s young and that may be. That doesn’t make my thoughts less valid, so go be logical somewhere else.

Being older than I was a day ago isn’t really the point. I’m fine with being older. I guess I’m thinking about my place in life. I have a great family. A great job. I’m back in school and doing well with that, finally. I couldn’t be happier with being who I am as a human. I like me and I like where I am, fundamentally, in life. From the outside looking in, my life is probably enviable. Probably isn’t too far fetched, I’ve been told as much in the past. I can’t complain about the places I have been, am going, or plan to go. I’d be jealous of me.

What has got me thinking this year is that I login far too often to social networks. I see pictures of people I follow at meet ups having fun. I see Facebook friends at Halloween parties. I see people getting together to watch a game or tailgate. I see people doing things with people. Not with the people that live in their house. They are out with friends. Doing friendly things. I don’t. I haven’t really since I lived in Hawaii nearly 20 years ago. It’s been that long since I had a group of friends that I saw all the time and went out with. My adult experience has been that friends are no longer people you hang out with. They’re people you see at holidays, your kids birthday’s, or the rare movie. I am jealous of all of the people online who have friendships that exist outside email and instant messaging. I joke with a friend of mine that we have to schedule a quarterly event just to see each other. It honestly works out that way.

This isn’t a slight against the people I call friends. This isn’t about you. It’s about me. I am a loner and have been for a long time. I don’t want to be, but life gets in the way and having friends hasn’t been a priority for me. Friends are something I’d love to have, but I don’t work too hard at it. Partly, it’s a time issue. Mostly, it is a fear of rejection. Why would I want to invest time or energy meeting new people if they’re going to disappear from my life anyway? It seems like a losing proposition to me. I would rather spend my time with my family or a video game. They’re probably not going anywhere. Probably.

Our experiences make us who we are. Mine have made me weary of personal relationships. My parents are divorced. My dad has been divorced twice. Each time, I met a new family. Had new siblings. I know without a doubt he’s where he needs to be now and I don’t have to meet anyone new. I’ve been divorced twice. Uprooted after each. New town, new house. New state in some cases. I haven’t had many actual relationships because I don’t like investing time or energy in things that I don’t see having value.

I’ve mentioned it before, I was a Navy kid and moved constantly as a kid. Before turning 17, I lived in 7 different places. That stunts the fostering of friendships.  I know precisely one person from my life before I turned 12. I “talk” to a few from my teenage years. I barely interact with anyone I met in my 20s. I suspect I’ll say the same things about my 30s when I’m 45. By then, I hope I’ve broken my cycle of mistrust and unhealthy relationships, but I have no experience to suggest otherwise.

I’m not asking to be fixed. I’m not asking for sympathy. I’m just using my blog as a place to get a thought out of my head. Trying to wrap my mind around how I’ve ended up here and maybe find a way to be a different human in the future. Some of you reading this are good people. Some of you I probably miss daily. Some of you I wish I knew better. (I actually wish I knew everyone I knew better)

3 thoughts on “Getting older”

  1. Good blog post, Sam. I feel that way sometimes too. I’m horrible about keeping in touch. If it wasn’t for my wife, I wouldn’t have any friends that I hang out with. I rely on her sociability. Call it lack of time or just laziness that I’m lacking in the circle of friends. For me, I feel fulfilled enough with my wife and kids. I have to concede that I am close with my family and hers as well so that helps. But I do find myself in my own bubble a lot of the time. I guess that’s why I find myself escaping through my music so much.

  2. I wish I didnt have the fears of traveling or the lack of resources or I think Id visit and we’d hang out but of course it would still be special times, but any time friends hang out its a special time right?

    My friends are either from work or are my online/comic con/trs family… I dont hang out often t all but know living on a friends couch i guess i do visit a bit more than i normally do…

    I also hope this post wasn’t because I call you old or anything, I hopefully have not given you a complex…yet….

    Im done rambling on your blog.

  3. Sam, I’ve had many of these same thoughts over the years. I just turned 37 before Halloween and I feel, as you, that I have much to be thankful for. Honestly, I have more regrets and unfulfilled needs than I have things and people to cherish, but you count whatever blessings you can get. As I was reading your blog, I came up with the phrase “life gets in the way”, and then I read it a few lines down, so I knew we were on the same page. The last time I got together with my friends – who are all people I’ve met via social networking – was when I visited Adam Besenyodi in September, and before that was the arcade night at Galloping Ghost, which you recall attending. I don’t get to see these people as often as I’d like, but it is true that life gets in the way. I get so upset when I see all the twitter and facebook posts from people at NYCC and other events because I want to be where they are, hanging out with them and enjoying life with my friends. I truly enjoy my days and nights with my wife, son and cats, but there’s the companionship of one’s peers which fills a certain need, too. I went so long without friends as a child, but as a high school junior, I came out of my shell and began spending the next few years seeing my friends on weeknights and weekends, by phone and in person, and they were a big part of my life. Things are different now and, after junior college, I went an entire decade without seeking any friends. I had been disappointed too many times by people who didn’t feel like putting any effort into the friendship. I just gave up. Things changed with the advent of social networking and my life was enriched with some new friends who seemed to be true. None of these friends have abandoned me like my chums of old, much to my delight. It makes me smile every time someone interacts with me over the networks. I certainly wish I cold see these folks – yourself top of the list – in person more often, so it’s up to me to get off my tuchus and arrange another meet-up. Perhaps not a video arcade this time (not a lot of personal interaction, I found).

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