Going through life backwards

2 Dec

Sometimes I feel like I’m going through life backwards, in relationships, responsibility, and goals. In my head I imagine “normal” as something like a pyramid. The normal narrative goes something like this: Before a boy grows up to be a man, he starts off fairly irresponsible, inconsiderate of others. He shirks responsibility, seriousness, his studies, and jumps has many relationships with various women. As the boy gets older, he learns to be more responsible, taking on duties and jobs in which others depend upon him, his tastes start to narrow as he figures out who he is, and he settles down with a partner.

That’s how I image the typical story goes. Someone is considered “immature” if they aren’t where they’re supposed to be at a given age along this path. If someone is where they’re supposed to be at a given age, you would say “they’re acting their age.”

Well I feel that I’m going along this path backwards in a way. As a teenager I never rebelled, I was extremely responsible for my age, I limited my relationships to serious ones, I never did anything overly dangerous or illegal, and I knew exactly what I wanted to do in life. Among my friends I was always the responsible one, and always happy to take on more responsibility. I never drank, I was always prepared for any situation, I almost always knew what to do, and I always cleaned up the mess.

Now that I’m older I’m sick of it.

Lately I’ve really been stressing out about a few things I really don’t want to do. I stopped to take stock of those things that were making me miserable and they were all responsibilities I had to other people. I don’t want any more responsibilities, I’m tired of it. I’m tired of having other people depend on me, I’m tired of being held down by those responsibilities. I’m fully aware that people are going to give me a ton of shit for saying this because “responsibility is good” is practically axiomatic in our society, but fuck em.

Look, I realize that many people have responsibilities that they did not enter into freely. For example, a family member gets sick or dies and suddenly you’re the only one around to look after the children. I get that. I’m not talking about those types of responsibilities.  I’m talking about responsibilities the way a free market capitalist would talk about employment: voluntarily entering into an obligation in return for some benefit. Why else do we voluntarily take on more responsibilities and obligations if not because we believe it will somehow be worth it? Maybe what makes it worth it is a pay increase, or a higher/more reputable standing in society. Whatever it is, I don’t want it.

I know that at this point in my life, almost 25, that I should be honing in on what I want to do for a career, I should start looking for someone to settle down with and have a family, and I should be striving to take on more responsibilities. However, all I want to do is cut all my chains and fly away. Perhaps I’m living life backwards.

3 Responses to “Going through life backwards”

  1. slrman December 2, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

    My first recommendation to you would be to discard all the “you should” comments from others. What they really want is for you to live your life thy way they wished they had lived theirs. That never works because we are all individuals and what works for someone else doesn’t make it good or even desirable for you.

    When you reach an advanced age, you’ll regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did. So take that trip, sail that boat, try the different job and do what satisfies you.

    That’s not to say we shouldn’t be responsible in that we treat others honestly and fairly. That we shouldn’t rob, rape, and kill. Think of it as “enlightened self-interest.” When you do what is truly best for yourself, you will match those kinds of responsible behavior. But you can’t live for anyone else. Think about what is truly good for yourself, then do it.

  2. pbanck December 2, 2012 at 10:59 pm #


  3. T1CT0C May 30, 2013 at 12:20 am #

    Do you also live in metaphor’s, ‘theoretically’.
    Your story felt familiar.
    I feel as if I arrive to the same mental state, eg. Comedy, as if I had come through the back door.
    Laughing when I get bad news.
    Basically a state of unorthodox mental process.
    It’s kinda running my life at the moment and I’ve just kinda given up. So with a positive smile I will let it run its course, delusion can be powerful. Find what makes you happy and hold on to it like a security blanket. Understand, don’t fight the game, play the game.
    I probably sound crazy right now but this philosophy has helped me off drink,grass,ice and DMT, still have a porn complex though and on Effexor XR for anxiety and depression.
    Remember delusions are hallucinations by deception, such symptoms open the door to schitzophrania. Asperges/autism are also in relation to such symptoms also.
    By the way I’m no doctor, just a curious

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