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Lower-Mid Life Crisis, August 18th, 1996 :: Ben Turner's Soapbox

 

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archived soapbox: August 18th, 1996
"Lower-Mid Life Crisis" [permalink]
    keywords: life, college, education, aging, Internet, UT Austin
    soapbox #: 46
    written: August 18th, 1996
    words: 634

"Lower-Mid Life Crisis", an Essay

Go see "The Fan". I mean it. Mr. DeNiro is too good to miss. "Do you care now, Bobby?" DeNiro's character asks when he tells Bobby Rayburn he must hit a home run in order to get his son back. This comes after Bobby Rayburn said he broke his hitting slump when he decided to stop caring about baseball. All things change in time.

Life's finally caught up with me. It's taken away one of my various ways of cheating. Damn.

I got into this topic a bit in my autobiography, but I think now is a good time to add closure to it all. I'm starting college at UT Austin next week. No longer will I be one of those intelligent teenage kids who has an above-average 'Net presence. I'll be a college kid, I'll be nothing. No longer will I get remarks like "And I always thought you were twenty-five!" No longer will I get cheap compliments just because I'm young and know what I'm doing. Vita, es foeda.

Not that I took advantage of the fact that I was a teen Internet junkie. In fact, I hid my age for a few years on INN, another online network. Say what you want, but people are turned off by teens on the Internet. It makes a big difference. I like playing this game with willing (and able) female participants the first time I talk to them. It's a flirty game of "who's got the power now?" This goes well until I reveal my age. The next communication from the woman has a lower level of intensity to it and the woman loses all interest. I guess for this reason it's good that I'm now JACS (Just Another College Student), but pay no attention to that -- I'm trying to keep a consistent point. But anyway, I'm not one of those teens who uses age as an excuse for being semi-intelligent. I don't post things like "Hey, be nice when you critique my page or argument, I'm just a teen." It's too disgusting a tactic to use. Yet some teens get a lot of exposure on the 'Net because they decide to work people into believing that somehow being an intelligent kid is a rarity.

"What are you? Another dumb teenager?"

So now I'm truly entering a new stage in my life. My having a pretty good homepage and already having a few professional web design projects lined up mean nothing. It's expected of me now, you see. I'll be living apart from my parents and I'll be dealing with the chaotic college life.

In some ways it's good that I'll be going to college. I won't have to deal with a completely inept school board that thinks solutions like buying computers and grabbing more books will suddenly produce top-notch students. I'll be able to learn more interesting things and expand my imagination. I'll even be able to mess around with UNIX servers and fun things like that.

But all of that aside, I'm a little disappointed that I didn't use my youth more to my favor. I probably could have advertised myself on the 'Net more as a teen than as an individual. I probably could have done more goofy things in public places than I did. I probably could have impressed more ignorant adults with some of my writings. I just didn't care about it then. But I suppose none of this matters now. Life doesn't care about "should have", "could have", or "would have". Life's an apathetic little pain, isn't it?

"Do you care now, Bobby?"

All things change in time.



 
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