When you get older, you don’t lose all the ages you have been.

I didn’t write today. I didn’t want to. No, it wasn’t the responsible thing to do. Yes, I realize that I will be really behind tomorrow. No, I wasn’t feeling motivated or inspired. And yes, I probably will regret that decision tomorrow night at 5 p.m. when my fingers are flying across the keys to watch black mediocre words pop on the screen just in order to make up for one night of laziness. But that doesn’t really bother me right now.

I’m not sure what bothers me right now. There aren’t words to describe it. It doesn’t mean that I won’t try, though.

Do you ever get that feeling when you look forward at the years stretching before you and you just get so overwhelmed by the panoramic view because you really have no idea what’s going to fill that space between now and then? Or do you ever realize that you’ve only spent 19 years on this planet but your soul feels like it bears the weight of 29,200 days? Or do you ever have those moments when you think about everything leading up to this moment in your life and you wonder if anything could have changed to result in a different outcome? For example, what if one little choice that you thought meant next to nothing was the deciding factor in your life that results in that face staring at you in the mirror? And the funny thing is, when you look in the mirror and you see what kind of person you’ve become, you don’t even recognize them.

Have you ever had that feeling?

I watch other people my age act much younger than I do and I begin to wonder: did they make the wrong choices? Or did I? Why can they laugh that loud and not feel embarrassed? They do not struggle with the weight of the burdens on their soul; yet, haven’t they had just as many days as me, if not more? The question niggles in the back of my mind, wondering if it was I who chose a different path, or they. I do not fit in with those younger than I for they only see me as the domineering, older authority or else, an old-fashioned judge who doesn’t fit in with the times anymore — despite the fact that my generation is creating these times. I do not fit in with those my age for I act much older than the number of candles on my birthday cake would imply. I do not fit in with the older crowd who claims that I am foolish in my youthful wisdom.

Friendship isn’t as easy as it was when we were children. When we were blessed with naivety, we assumed that anyone in a 5-foot radius was a friend and that we must interact with them. But now, everyone in a 5-foot radius is probably a stranger and I learned my lesson well when my mother told me not to speak to strangers. Small talk has become intimacy and friend requests are status symbol. Look how many people want access to the profile that I hide behind, we cry. As we get older, we realize that real friendship takes more effort than we are willing to put in and we settle for the acquaintanceship that one click of a mouse brings. We live far away? I don’t want to call you to see how you’re doing…but a status update seems easy. You’re busy for the summer and can’t come out to see me? No problem, share some pictures online and it will seem like I’m there when I scroll through. This isn’t friendship and the definition is so varied between the X, Y, and Z generations that mine no longer fits in any of them.

So where does that leave me? It leaves me alone in the middle of the night, typing my twisting map on a computer screen and wondering if I will ever be able to decipher the contents enough to discover the place where I can truly find myself. It may be lonely here, but I have made friends with the hopes that whisper encouragement in my ear and suggest that someone actually reads this, that someone on the far sides of cyberspace understands even the slightest bit about what I am saying, that someone out there is much too old and much too young at the same time.

To that someone, I say hello. All ages welcome.

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