Ok. Quick disclosure before getting in to this piece. I came up with the title and concept before my birthday and am writing it after so I’m actually 41 now and I know you can never really trust me again. I’ll just have to live with the shame of it all.
So what do I mean when I say 40 year teenager? Video games and dick jokes? Giggling when someone says something I can turn in to an innuendo? Nah. I do that and it doesn’t have to do with my age, I’m just a jackass.
It’s not zits either. no it’s not. Stop looking at my selfie.
It’s more this: I never was a teenager. I never had those years. Sure, numerically I had them. I didn’t go from 12 to 20 on a single birthday. But I never was a teenager at the right time.
I don’t write this to garner sympathy. I’m well beyond that. My friends know my issues, I’m open about my mental health, and I don’t believe in comparative suffering. But this is my story condensed in to less than novel length.
I endured bullying straight from Grade 1. In the time of my childhood, there wasn’t much oversight on what kids did on the playground. Living in a small town, you don’t escape it when you move on to higher grades. The same Fuckfaces that made your life miserable on the playground do so in the High school, except at this point they’ve graduated to beatings.* Long story short, I dropped out. I was flunking everything anyways, as I refused to go to classes where I was picked on. So, all of them. I didn’t see the end of my grade 11 year.
yeah, I’m a high school drop out. surprise! Or not, depending on what you’ve thought of my education level interacting with me.**
I started working full-time at a series of incredibly shitty jobs. This is not a value judgment of the jobs themselves, but they made me miserable. Retail. Office clerk. Factory. Door to door satellite TV salesman. at 17. Those huge ugly dishes. Another reminder of my age. The pay sucked, the hours sucked, the life sucked. And then I got my girlfriend pregnant. So now instead of making ends meet, I was working two jobs, 7 days a week, to feed a baby. Now don’t get me wrong. I don’t regret my daughter. She was one of the truly wonderful things in my life.
she made a gif.
Working every day of the year drains the hell out of you. It wears you down to the edge of insanity. It ages you. And for a while, I was just getting pounded. Everyone has a story about how their ex is awful. Let’s just say mine did not work even when our daughter reached school age.
And then she left me. Thpppt. Found a new guy to sponge off of. All good for me, other than less time with my daughter. Then I dragged myself through various office jobs that sapped the soul out of me. Until I ended up where I work now. I’ve been there for 13 years, and in that time have risen to the point where finances are not a key problem any more. but 12 years of poverty took its toll.
As I approached 30, I met another woman and got married again. It wasn’t a bad marriage, even though it ended after 10 years. It just wasn’t a fulfilling one. A wonderful person with whom I shared little in common and that gap increased each year. During that time, My daughter came to live with me. Chronically depressed, and struggling, I then had to fight to save her life. This drained me faster than anything else, other than failing. No, I don’t blame myself for her taking her own life. I don’t blame her. There isn’t blame. It just is another vampire sucking the life out of you.
I developed PTSD, depression, and anxiety disorders. This further dragged me down. I’m successfully fighting it at the moment, but still have real issues, and will for the rest of my life.
And now I am with a truly wonderful partner. The first intimate relationship that gives back to me, really, instead of sapping me dry. A true partnership of equals with empathy and compassion for each other.
So wait, you might ask, what does this have to do with being a 40-year-old teenager (fine, 41)
I never was one. And some of my mentality kind of fits that of a teenager. I have a real struggle with confidence. I often feel like “nobody gets me.” I can be moody and pouty. Although given the way the world is today, that may not mean teenager at all.
I’m fighting to regain some joy in my life. Some spontaneity. reckless abandon on some things. occasional shirking of responsibility just to fuck off and do what I want. I adult, and adult well. I just don’t really want to most of the time. I’ve been working full time since I was 14 years old, with almost a decade being multiple jobs at once. 27 years so far. and I have 25 to 30 to go. I’m tired.
It’s like a regressive midlife crises where your lost youth just needs to be indulged. I cope with humour. If you’ve read my twitter timeline, you can tell that I have this mistaken impression that I’m really funny.*** I sometimes write angsty tweets, or, reading this, angsty blog posts.
Truth is, I am not ready to grow up any more. Not that I don’t want to progress in my life. I just want to savour my dying youth, and somehow, maybe buy back a few of those teenage years that were stolen by circumstance and situation. I can’t stop time. I can’t reverse the clock or erase the laugh (ok, frown) lines. I just want to try.****
*Plus side, I can now run my head in to things and feel a minimum of pain.
**I actually completed two college degrees and completed my GED after all of this. I just don’t have a classic education.
***I am. If you can’t see it, it’s you. not me.
****so expect more dick jokes.
With love to all my readers,