What’s my name (again)?

Day 2: What’s your name?

This is part of the UU Blogging Workshop’s Zero to Hero Series.

Oh, the good old days…

Yes, What’s My Age Again? is a Blink 182 song title. When I turned 22, my friend Ken gave me an authored DVD with pictures on it for my birthday. It was soundtracked with Blink 182 and this was the title song for the present. Because of this, it occupies a special place in the playlist of my life. Fast forward a number of years (say, to the start of this blog). I happened to be listening to NPR while walking to work in July 2012. The news reporter was asking people on the street when they realized they were an “adult.”

I stopped buying the product…

This is what inspired the name and first blog post for WMAA. At 37 years old (then 35) I still find it hard to think of myself as an adult, even though I do a lot of adult things. Hell, I even have a mortgage. However, sometimes I feel like I’m still trying to figure it all out and that I should have had it all figured out by now. I was taught if I went to college and got a degree, I would get married and have a couple of kids, work somewhere for 35 years and then retire with a pension.

This is not the reality. I’ve had two careers so far and will be in grad school soon so I can start on a third profession. I’m married but with no children (working on that). I’m looking at probably working well into my 70’s and nothing in my life has followed the cookie-cutter expectations I was educated into.

Builds character…

I do look at my life with a profound thankfulness and humility; not many people have it as good as I do. I acknowledge that I am relatively very successful, if not financially than in quality of life. But the old conditioning is still well burned into my memory. There are some days I feel like a failure because I’m not half-way into retirement and not a father. These days are hard, because they make me feel like an awkward teenager still wet behind the ears, instead of a man with some really powerful life experiences under his belt.

and other curious questions...

and other curious questions…

So that’s why this blog is titled What’s My Age Again? Sometimes I just need a reminder of who I am, where I have been and where I am going. It’s about my struggle with being a man who sometimes still feels like a little boy.

Names have powerful connotations and I feel that WMAA lives up to it’s inspiration.

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About Justin Almeida

Coffee roaster, beer brewer, spirit distiller, capsaicin addict, active activist, peaceful warrior.
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5 Responses to What’s my name (again)?

  1. Mark N. says:

    I wonder if you are confusing the concept of responsibility (mortgage, house, kids) with what we were raised with as an expectation as to the meaning of adult. Our generation is different then our parents. Adult to me simply means that I have a few more aches and pains in the morning, and the argument of “I know better” is a very valid statement when making decisions. Adult is an age to me. Sure, we’re in our late 30’s but our life’s flow is so vastly different then last generation that if we try and measure up to that expectation we are always going to have an existential crisis. We are not our parents, the same way that our parents are not their grandparents. So again, sure you are an “adult”, or a “grown-up” but that definition is so nebulous that you really should just kick back with a good stout, relax and focus on the fact that you still have lots of time ahead of you to try something different.

    • Not confusing them… that’s exactly what it is. lol To me, adult isn’t just an age, it’s behaving with maturity and acknowledging responsibility that should come with age. Unfortunately it is all mixed up with expectations that were ground in through my fine Vegas education. 😉 It takes a while to unlearn that stuff…

  2. Pingback: What does it (all) mean? | What's My Age Again?

  3. UUXMNR says:

    I know exactly how you feel, and can relate to just about everything you said. I will be 35 in a couple months, so I’m not that far behind you. When my parents were 35 they had 3 kids (I, the oldest, would have been in the 7th grade already) and were doing pretty well for themselves, as far as any child of my age could tell. I can’t help but compare where I am now to where they were then and feel sorely disappointed in myself. Yes, I’m doing alright…but I could be doing so much better. My ideas of what it means to be a grown-up were by necessity formed by who I perceived the grown-ups to be when I was a child. Of course, there are things that I understand all too well now that I am older…but it will take a whole lot more than an intellectual understanding to change the way I feel about concepts around what “adulthood” means, which are so deeply ingrained in my psyche.

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