When I was about to graduate from college, a friend of mine told me:
“Don’t you ever change.”
We knew that the probability of us seeing each other was low and for some odd reason she wanted me to stay narcissistic, immature, dumbass who thinks he’s the smartest man alive, and being a jackass as I was I said to her:
“That’s the worst thing you could’ve said to me.”
Naturally, she had no clue why I responded like that; obviously, she saw something in me which was worth keeping.
Regardless of how truthful my statement was, I shouldn’t have slapped her in the face with bucket full of dead fish. The truth is best served one smelly piece at a time.
Seven years later and I still stand by the statement although Me from the past is much different than the present me.
Lot’s of things have changed in my life; I got married, became a father, published a book, decided to chase a writing career, spend three years abroad with the spoiled Chinese children, met people from all over the world, and all of that contributed to my change.
Although it seems that the change happens by itself, because times simple flies, whether we like it or not, we must admit that a change doesn’t happen suddenly and unplanned.
A change is a consequence of daily learning, improvement, thinking, analyzing and conscious decision making so we could be a bit better today than we were yesterday.
My friend from college wasn’t the first person with who I was splitting probably forever. I’ve lost touch with many friends after finishing primary school, highschool, military service, after I went to college and moved to Sombor, and finally after I moved to China.
One of the saddest experiences I ever had were my odd encounters with old friends and my realization that these, now grown people, haven’t changed a bit, or if they’ve changed, they became much worse than they used to be.
Probably the most depressing scene of all took place when I decided to reunite with my relatives once I finished college and came back to Kula.
I missed them. Afterall, we grew up together and I cared for them.
What I saw when I visited them was pure horror. I came to their home after 5 years, and they were sitting on the same sofa, although in much worse shape, they were watching the same TV with the same content — teletext football scores.
The only thing that has changed was the name of the betting service in which they were placing their football bets. Everything else was the same; the same stories, same thinking, the same worldview, the same dumb hope that this bet will solve their financial problems.
I’ve spent the next few months visiting them once a week, and I finally decided to stop after I was sick of answering the same questions week after week while they obviously didn’t care for the answers.
They are not the only one who remained the same or became even worse than they used to be, but I guess people care more about their own blood.
Sometimes, when I remember these experiences with friends and relatives, I have a feeling that some people remained adolescents forever; they are not independent, they never stopped believing that the whole world is plotting against them, and they have never made a decision to take control of their own lives and make things better.
Of course, some of them surprised me in a good way; most often those who nobody expected anything from them; some bad students, just like I used to be; have finished colleges, got jobs, run their own businesses, changed their lives for the better, but these examples are rare.
On the other hand, there are many of these who were believed to achieve great things, but failed miserably; they became alcoholics, junkies, lazy, worthless beings who do nothing except chewing a plastic spoon in one of many coffee shops.
I wonder what had happened to these people, why did they stop dreaming? We all had dreams when we were children. Who is to blame? The school or domestic upbringing or both? I guess both.
It’s sad to see someone in their thirties with the brain of an adolescent who is whining and who is desperate to find a job. And, what exactly are you able to do? What set of skills do you own?
You give them a computer and they can’t even send an email. If you think that someone will open a factory just so you could do some dumbass job, like putting four wires into four holes, you’re wrong; these kind of factories don’t exist anymore; at least not in that part of the space and time.
Perhaps I’m wrong, but these kinds of people were rarity when I was an adolescent and I’m sure that you remember them as well. It’s those two 50 year old guys who would come to every rock gig, dressed in leather pants and jeans vests; they were drinking beer from the bottle and scavenging young girls and once their song was on the repertoire, an empty circle would appear with them being in the center.
I’m sure that you know at least one or two of these guys. Later, they would drink beer in front of the store and tell their tales to dumb teenagers who were willing to listen to them, but even they didn’t take them seriously.
When I take a closer look at my generation it seems that we contributed significantly larger amount of creepy guys than any generation ever. It seems to me that we’re not ready for life and that all these stories about millennials might be true; we are irresponsible and immature as hell.
Many members of my generation still spend their time playing video games and watching TV or hanging out in the coffee shops while spending their parent’s money.
I’m not saying that you should stop doing these fun things, but for god’s sake — don’t you have anything better to do?
You, who are currently in the adolescence, watch yourself, if anyone ever tells you not to change, think twice before you decide whether it’s a good idea after all.
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Originally published at https://ibmiller.net on July 24, 2019.