Age: More than just a number?

So, I’m sure you’ve noticed, but I’m old now.

I mean, not in the sense of actually aged. Also not in the sense of mature, Lord knows. I just mean that I feel like I’m being involuntarily aged out.

Let me see if I can explain.

Some of this is to do with Life Happening, of course. I still haven’t managed to secure employment in Chicagoland, though I’ve got a couple good leads with the University and with the City Colleges of Chicago. I even had an interview with Apple, until it turned out that that job was part-time and therefore no insurance. (I’m also looking at other universities, hospitals, offices, etc., etc.) But I do have a part-time job up here in Wisconsin, and it gave me one of my latest old moments. I was returning to work after my lunch break, and “Lose Yourself” by Eminem came on the radio. I started drumming my fingers and rapping along, and then I realized: I was in a Toyota Corolla, wearing business attire, with one hand on the card that lets me into the parking garage… rapping. You guys… I’m Michael Bolton from Office Space. I mean, the car is my mom’s… that’s worse, isn’t it.

It’s strange waters, this new adulthood. I wore that purple dress and got my expensive and odd-smelling piece of paper handed to me by Dean O’Keefe, who called me by name even though she’d never met me before, and all of a sudden I have to live by a different set of rules. Living in my mother’s basement is “pathetic” now, for example, even though I lived there all through college and then it was just “my bedroom”. But the worst thing is my friends.

One of them called me on this, wanting to know why I was going to visit. He said he knows lots of people who’ve graduated from college, but none of them who still hang around their old res halls. It’s where all my friends are! Am I supposed to abandon them and find a new set “my own age”? You guys are, max, five years younger than me, right?

Am I still allowed to be your friend, if indeed I ever was? Am I still welcome to hang around the dorm when I’m in town, crash on the couches, make friends with the freshmen, and (once I live down there) party with you on the weekends? I’m actually interested in hearing what survey says on this. I don’t want to be bugging you if I’ve suddenly turned into creepier old man (I know I was creepy old man even when I lived there.) I just don’t see how interpersonal relationships have to change just because the number after my name in AP style clicked up one.

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