One thing I’ve started observing is how little interest we start to have in things which seemed almost life-changing as young adults or teenagers. I call this, the privilege of growing old (or “up”, for those a bit wary of growing old).
Why is it a privilege? Cause not everyone gets to this point, either because of death, or because of immaturity. I’m referring to those people who in their 40s and 50s still act as though they are teenagers, who have little to no responsibilities – even though the lifestyle makes them miserable.
You see, when you’re young, you’re almost obsessed with what your friends are doing. Are your friends drinking this weekend? Awesome, let’s go drinking! Are they smoking a joint? Well, then, that’s cool too! We want to fit in, it’s human nature’s pull for conformity and inclusion into groups. It’s what has kept us alive for millennia… but is it now killing us?
In reality, most people do get out of this stage in their life. As they grow up, age, have a family, have a career, travel, and so on, they realise that they need to invest more in the relationships of people who care about them, and in their relationship with themselves.
And if you don’t grow up?
Well then you realise you’re the only one at dinner who’s consistently ordering a pint after pint, while your friends and loved ones sip water (or a soft drink). You’re the only one who turns up home at 5am after a night out with the “boys” or “girls”, even though they have no spouses, and your spouse is up worrying about you cause you turned your phone off.