“The only thing we all have in common is the fact we’re getting older.”
I felt a bit sorry for my little step-nephew a couple of weeks ago when I heard he got upset that his younger brother didn’t want him hanging around with his (the older brother’s) new girlfriend and her friend. There is only a couple of years between the two boys – aged eight and ten.
Even at a tender age of eight, the mind can become jealous and lonely just like any adult. The brain mechanism is the same, and the only real difference is an adult’s life experience and brain (and body) muscle memory which should allow them to gain perspective of any low time of life they go through. Unfortunately, too many adults age at a mental maturity rate that does not keep up with their aligned chronological years.
An equivalent low point from my past
I remember going through a similar phase at around thirteen. I wasn’t an ugly kid by any stretch, quite cute in fact, but I went through puberty contextually late, and I was naturally skinny. With these factors assigned, I wasn’t exactly a boy with much female interest projected onto me. And as any man can relate to, as could even boys of today, the girls that liked you back then are never the girls you liked back.
It seemed like I lived year or so when nearly every boy in my network - a close friend or otherwise - seemed to be coupling off with a girl for every day that passed by. Naturally, some of these couples were doing nothing more than hanging together in a group (some of them maybe never even kissed), but it was still a girlfriend/boyfriend status all the same.
Perhaps more importantly to whether it ranged from never holding hands to early sexual experiences, with everything in between, was that irrespective these boys who picked up a girl were never available to socialise. What was once after school football every day turned into hanging around shops. Regular video game nights were soon played on my own. Phone calls to their house were answered by parents saying he was out. I felt so alone, and the days seemed awfully long.
My older brother was great, and he, even if reluctantly or forced by my parents, involved me with his peer sport games. Nevertheless, it didn’t take long for me to subconsciously realize they begrudgingly had to take it easy on me or just thought I was a nuisance. One of them even told me to “fuck off”, which made me feel even lower about myself!
How did it all turn out or get better?
Honestly, I cannot recall the exact how’s and when’s regarding a brighter day. I guess it just happened naturally, and over incremental time. Perhaps by fourteen or fifteen I matured to a level where more of the popular girls didn’t just think I was invisible. Maybe (or most likely probably), in retrospect, some of the boys were dumped by their girlfriends. On fewer occasions, the boys even jettisoned from the girls.
Ultimately, the cold and dark days became warmer and lighter in metaphoric terms, and as explained above, the brain muscle memory allows us to wake up a little more positive than the day before. A bit like the stock market, nothing goes in a straight line up or down, and there will be bumps along the way with your emotions and mindset. But again, like stocks, most of the time, with patience, the general trajectory is up and to the right.
Positives from negatives mentality brought into adult life
I’m a firm believer that your childhood plays a huge part in how you manifest as an adult, and how you cope with the tribulations life throws at you. Yes, I know of isolated people who transformed almost unrecognizably in character from a kid to a man (or woman), but by and large you never fully lose the genetics with which you were born.
In my opinion, seventy percent of your adult character is a by-product of the genetics you inherited – from the personality traits your parents were born with. Twenty percent is how smart you are, and how in association you can implement this savviness to produce a more positive disposition that is over and above the natural character you were designated. This leaves, at most, ten percent which can be blagged, masked, and contrived - to fool the majority of innocent people who cannot see through you.
Therefore, if a minimum of seventy percent of what people see in you is formed from your natural character, you need to accept who you are and make the best product out of the tools you were given. Only a small segment of these tools can be sharpened to build a better final product.
Examples of positives from negatives
This list is not even close to being exhaustive, but from a brainstorming and personal exercise perspective, I offer you these:
I’m not as physically attractive as I would like to be.
When I look around, in practice most of the hottest women don’t go for the hottest men. Maybe it’s best to not be too aesthetically pleasing as a man!!?
I don’t have as much money as I would like to have.
Most of the time, the more money a man has is a direct consequence of working long, stressful and tiresome hours, in a job he hates. By not doing this, even if it has meant having less money, the end result is a higher health level and greater physical attractiveness.
I can’t find a suitable woman for wife material.
As enriching as it is to be in love with a woman in the early phases of a relationship, women undeniably cause you stress, they are emotionally inconsistent and volatile, and they cost you a lot more money than when you were single. You also do not have to answer to anyone when single.
I’ve never had children like my friends.
1) Give you less time for yourself.
2) Give you less money for yourself.
3) Offer less opportunity to do or have things in life you could have otherwise.
4) Give you less opportunity to accomplish personal goals in your life.
5) Physically age you at a faster rate than not having children.
6) Increase your stress levels.
I don’t have as many friends as my younger days.
Looking back, most of these “friends” (or at least social acquaintances) only genuinely cared about themselves. A lot of what we did was a waste of time, a waste of money, and quite frankly nothing to greatly remember with fondness or exhilaration. I was just a young man doing what I thought was necessary to be social, often out of peer pressure. At least with fewer social options, I am wasting less time, and spending more time on the things I desire to fulfil.
A final thought
Simply five examples that sprung to mind. I would expect that many men, especially men in their thirties, forties and fifties, can relate to where I’m shooting from.
Everybody is different, and many people will attain a differing view to me. It would be boring if we were all the same. In essence, I’m an avid believer that it doesn’t matter what path of life you believe in, providing you are honest with yourself in assessing each path. Those that ignore the alternative are usually those who trample through life in blissful, and somewhat arrogant, ignorance.
Nobody truly knows what path in life would have been best for them, as to know this you would require two bodies of yourself living both lives. Those who say their chosen path was the best are most likely the people who question their decisions the most.