you win, quarter life crisis. you win.

In between my spreadsheets and databases, I take the time to read the newspapers here at work.  This work is so tedious, I need to  take my mind off of it and take in a little of what goes on elsewhere for a little while.  I have managed to get out of the entertainment section a little more often than I used to, but what can I say – I’m a sucker for a good Brangelina story.

Occasionally I will check up on my hometown via their online newspaper.  Although I couldn’t wait to get out of there and move into the bright lights of the big city, I find myself drawn back and missing the small town I grew up in.  Small towns are different than big cities – more people seem to care about you there.  I remember my 8th grade health teacher telling my class that, even though we hated growing up there, as we got older we would find ourselves missing the place.  A good majority of us, he said, would settle down in a town a lot like Hudson, if not Hudson itself.  We all scoffed at the idea, thinking that he was living in some kind of weird fantasy land where Hudson was the be-all end-all of fine living.   In many ways he was wrong: Hudson sorely needs a little bit more culture outside of the Chinese restaurant that has recently made its way into downtown.  But in other ways he was right.  Hudson is a place where family values and friendships are strong, and we could leave our doors unlocked without fears of being robbed or murdered in the night.  And, when I check up on the newspaper, I can see that the town (for the most part) is still the same.

As I was scrolling through the paper and looking at the pictures, I saw the same football uniforms that I can remember my friends wearing.  I also saw the graduation pictures of the class of 2009, and it was a picture that looked a lot like my graduation in 2005.  But now, instead of seeing faces I know in the photographs, I see strangers.  All of my past teachers look like they are getting older.  For some reason, I find it to be a little unsettling.  If you were to cut out the faces of the strangers and throw in the faces of the class of 2005, you’d never know the difference. 

I suppose that it is just a little… depressing?  Maybe that’s not the word I want.  Humbling might be a little closer. 

Why?  Because things will go on without me.  As I left high school, others were beginning and in 10 years you will barely be able to tell the difference between the two classes.  The same goes with college.  And if I were to go back to school and see the track team that I was a part of for four years, nobody would even know or care who I was.  Someone else will always swoop in and take my place.  I feel so disposable.  And now I am stuck sitting here asking myself “why am I here?” again.

I suppose that I am feeling a little low today, and maybe a little sorry for myself when I shouldn’t.  I do sometimes get unhappy with the direction that my life is headed.  When I was younger, maybe 11 or 12 years old, somebody asked me what I thought the meaning of life was.  “Well”, I said, “I think it is to just do whatever makes you happy”.  At the time it seemed really simple and obvious and didn’t really understand what the big fuss was all about.  But now I see that it’s not that easy (at least for me) to figure out what that “happy thing” is.  Maybe I’m sitting here thinking too hard about it when it’s right in front of my face.  Or maybe the “happy thing” is having a family while all of this work stuff is just helping me survive and pay a few bills.  I guess I won’t really know until I’m much, much older.

 So maybe what I should take away from all of this rambling I have been doing for the past hour is that all will be forgotten in the next few years.  A vast majority of everything that I do or say will be lost with time.  And while somebody will come and replace me in almost every application of my life, it gives me a greater reason to live for myself rather than other people. 

I will remember my accomplishments, even if others do not.  And if somebody doesn’t like me, they can leave.. but I’m stuck with myself.

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4 Comments on “you win, quarter life crisis. you win.”

  1. Don Keylips Says:

    Troutt, way to be a Debbie Downer.

    I think you underestimate your potential to leave a positive mark on the lives of others.

    Among the many memories of me pushing your buttons and you eventually forgiving me each time (we are cool about all that, right Hot-to-Troutt?), I will always remember that night where you attempted to teach me to dance at your house. I don’t even remember why the hell I was trying to learn to dance, but learning from you was a great time. And Flip food, amazing.

    I could probably ramble on about this for awhile, but what I have to say is best summed up in my favorite quote.

    “Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”
    -Marianne Williamson

    • heatro Says:

      Thanks 🙂 Reading this response, I think what I wrote came out a little more depressing than I intended. I guess I was just feeling a little down at the time — but I really do appreciate this.

      And I was teaching you to dance because you wanted to score a bridesmaid or two at a wedding you were going to. And then Willis told me that you never ended up dancing. Tsk tsk

  2. Don Keylips Says:

    And also, I liked your old format better. This one feels drab, like it’s a remnant of the mid 90’s.

  3. shawncita Says:

    “I will remember my accomplishments, even if others do not. And if somebody doesn’t like me, they can leave.. but I’m stuck with myself.”

    You know, that’s a pretty incredible insight for someone your age…I know the point of your post was not exactly this, but I was struck by this last comment you made. It took me far longer to figure that out, and as you may come to see in the months and years to come, it’s a huge part of ‘What Comes Next’ – All that garbage you hear growing up about never being able to truly make someone else happy unless you yourself are happy, about the most important person to please is yourself, etc…I tried for years to call that kind of thinking “being selfish” and “focusing on me-me-me” – as if these were negative things. In fact, the truth is that by “being selfish” and “focusing on me,” I’m actually giving those I love a true gift-the gift of taking great care of myself-and in doing so, it allows me the presence and wherewithall to enjoy each moment I spend with them just a little bit more deeply. So congratulations!
    OK so that sounded all way more all-knowing and preachy than I meant for it to-yikes! Glad to hear you finally got paid, BTW!! Woo!

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