Sunday, December 27, 2015

Age of Reason: Or Lack Thereof

So I attend college with many people younger than me. The organization I intern with has 50 interns and only 5 of us are in graduate school. Of those 45 undergraduate students, I work closely with 3 of them. Of the 7 people I intern with, only one is older than me, he's 38. The rest are in their 20's. One is 29. The rest are younger. So essentially, I'm one of the few "grown" folks in my academic circles. Ted, who was in his early 40's, and I are no longer a thing, and I was bummed initially, but I emerged with a greater understanding of who I am and what I want, so I walked away with what I needed to learn to move forward.

Anyway, the majority of people that I encounter about 25 hours a week are in their early 20's. I'm definitely a world apart from many of the people around me. I'm one of the few with a child, living on my own, away from campus, having had real life work experience and real life experience in living. It makes a difference as I look at the people around me. Truthfully, my intern supervisor is about my age, and I feel like I have more in common with him than some of the younger people I'm near. I'm actually cool as hell with all of my intern supervisors. We're in kind of an elite club of educated, middle-aged black people. Not young and naive, but not old with outdated ideas.

I tried to go see Hilary Clinton when she came on campus at Clark to speak. They didn't let us in (some bullshit, but I digress), but I was painfully aware of the #BlackLivesMatters protesters that interrupted her speech. Young political me may have agreed with them. Older and experienced political me has a hard time taking them seriously because they have yet to outline a platform. In working on the election last year, I learned a lot about policy, politics and planning and I can honestly say that those kids have no fucking clue how to make a movement.

I recall when I entered school, several people theorized that I'd meet my future husband in grad school. After my first semester, when most of my male colleagues were either gay or married, and out of a class of 25 people, there were only about 4 males per class, I knew that the odds were slim of getting a new boo, even though I wasn't there for that anyway. This semester, as I've gotten out of my shell more and had more chances to socialize, I actually am meeting more men, who are seemingly available. Truth be told, dating still is not a priority, but the fact is that I do get lonely at times. I held on to Ted longer than I should have, simply because I didn't have the time to meet someone to replace him. Once things were officially over with him, I suppose I subconsciously started to check my surroundings. 

I started to spend time with a younger colleague (early 20's), and let's just say that there were some good OUTSTANDING times had.
But his age (or lack thereof) made him a bit flaky and I've got shit to do, so I don't have time for unstable people or situations. Oddly enough, after things with him ended, I started to really think that perhaps I should start dating younger men. I've always felt like I had more in common with older people, but as time goes on, I don't look, act or feel 35. My young boo thang told me he thought I was 26 when we met. Even in non-academic situations when I'm out, the men that approach me and the men that I'm attracted to tend to hover around 25 or so. Initially it weirded me out, but as time went on, I had to accept a new truth for myself- a younger man just may be the way for me to go. I'm finding that older educated men come with lots of hangups and bullshit expectations, while younger dudes are all about just being and having a good time. They don't get as hung up on past experiences and they aren't afraid to take a woman out. They're willing to leave the home and bedroom. Truth is, I'm in the early stages of dating a 28-year-old classmate and while I'm not out shopping for wedding dresses, its nice to be with a man who isn't bitterly divorced or a lifelong playa who has bullshit expectations of me.

I remember a while ago talking to a supervisor and telling him quite truthfully that I feel like a 35-year-old teenager. I don't look, act, or dress my age. Call it a gift or a curse. But during this season in my life, I'm encountering people younger than me who are inspiring me to be great and to relax. I'm reminded to not always take life so seriously, while my age and experience have me in a perfect place to take advantage of the multiple opportunities given to me. So I may be old and seasoned, or I may be young and flirty. But either way, I'm having the time of my life, and for that, I am grateful.

No comments: