Justin Tadlock

Life At 23

I had actually planned to write a post on my birthday (May 1), but I figured, in keeping with tradition of my last four years of blogging, to take the day off entirely.

Several times I thought of something I would like to have blogged about. However, I opted to watch Stargate Atlantis: Season 1 on DVD. Yes, another sci-fi show. That’s what I bought with some of the money I got for my birthday. And, I still can’t seem to shake this sci-fi mood I’ve been in for the past few months. It’s like I need it both mentally and physically.

I’m not going to go on about my obsession with sci-fi though. Instead, I’ll write a little about a conversation I had tonight.

My best friend, the one from The Guidebook To Dating My Best Friend, called me to wish me a happy birthday. Yes, a day late. We didn’t talk long, but we got on the subject of my age, which is not uncommon when it is one’s birthday.

By the way, I’m now 23. It hasn’t sunk in completely. I don’t feel a day older than 18. Maybe a little wiser, in a little worse health. I know 23 isn’t old, but somehow it feels like it’s some kind of defining number. We talked about the things my dad done before he was 23. He had joined the Army, traveled the world, and had me. He done all of this by the time he was my age. Well, he was about to be 24 when I was born, but close enough.

I suppose what I’m getting at is that I don’t feel like I’ve accomplished anything in my life, and that I should’ve done so already. Sure, I’m graduating college next week. I’ve made a few WordPress themes (go check those out). I’ve written a few things. Maybe I’ve changed somebody’s life in a fundamental way and I don’t even know it.

I know I’m only thinking about these things because it is my birthday, well was. Graduation probably has a little to do with it also.

My life is about to change in a very real way, and there’s nothing I can do about it. Mostly, I think it’s because I don’t feel in control anymore. That’s one reason I don’t feel 18 (I think it fits under the wiser category). I probably wasn’t in control at 18, I just felt like I was — whole world in front of ya’ kid. That whole world belonged to me. I could do what I wanted to do. Be who I wanted to be. I’m sure you know the rest.

I don’t feel that way anymore. I can probably still do anything I want to do, or that could just be the idea that a capitalist society put in my head (I won’t even digress on the subject of capitalism as slavery — I’ll save that for another day). To be successful, I think I need that again.

I often say to myself, “Given the average American life span, I have another 50 something years or more to do what I want to do.” I say the same thing about marriage, which I still hope not to do until I’m at least 30 — 40+ years is enough time to spend with someone. But, all too often I find myself thinking the opposite. That’s American culture for you — if you’re not a star when you’re 16, then it only gets tougher as you age.

You can find numerous posts in my archives in which I repeat these same words. I know being 23 doesn’t mean it’s too late. I know that instead of blogging about not accomplishing anything, I should be doing something about it. But, that’s what I do. I wonder about life’s adventures most of the time instead of living them.

Maybe after I finish finals I can live a little. Stop worrying about what important things I’ve not accomplished, and go do something important for humankind. Save a puppy from a burning building. Write a novel that changes someone’s life. Run for a public office (the world knows we need better leadership). Heck, maybe I’ll even find a soulmate, or at least a girlfriend since I don’t believe in soulmates. Create peace. Find peace. Find a few of the answers to the universe, or come to the realization that there are no answers.

So much to do. I still have 50 years. I wonder if that’s enough time.