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Am I young?

July 29th, 2008 at 01:14 pm

I am 28 yrs old. I always thought that was definitely an adult age. But Suze Orman said that 28 yr olds are "still just kids." I am not offended by this. I kind of like the idea that I have some more 'wiggle room' to make mistakes and not have 'adult expectations' placed on me.

I definitely donít feel that I have the knowledge or skills that a 28 year old should posses. Thatís almost 30! But I look around at my friends, and they donít seem to have the skills that a person nearly 30 should have either.

I am not talking maturity. Or maybe I am. It's just that there are 'expectations' for age ranges. When you are in your early twenties you are supposed to be starting your career, possibly with a good chunk of debt, and spend the next few years working to become debt free.

When you are nearly 30, as I am, I thought that people (family, elders that I respect and want to please) expect me to have a house, and be really independent so they donít need to worry about me.

And in the next few years is family time. Where the cycle starts again, and people stop talking, worrying about me and focus on my child and how they are developing and growing.

Right now I feel that people still talk and worry about me and Baseball boy. I think Baseball boys parents think we are still somewhat of a burden. They have the mentality about Baseball boy and I that many blog readers do about their finances. That we are 1 screw up away from ruining our lives. Or thats how I feel. Baseball boy's parents are very "in our business" and micromanage things. "What did you do yesterday? What time did you get up this morning? So you have practice at 2pm then a game at 7 pm? Against who? Are you ready? What are you going to do for dinner?"(my mom had enough trust in me to stop worrying about me the second I drove off to college). Maybe that why I am so anxious to buy a house. To just prove to Baseball boy's family we are ok and they can be proud when other family members ask them "how is Gamecock and Baseball boy doing?" and the parents can say, "oh they got a house down south and Gamecock has a full time job being miserable in a cubicle, and Baseball boy is feeling all this pressure to stop playing baseball for financial reasons but at the same time knows how disappointed we will feel that he is no longer playing..." and then the family will cluck amongst themselves at how responsible and grown up we are, and Baseball boys parents will beam that their son was a success and chose a great daughter in law. Then as the family leaves my parent-in-laws house, they will lower their voices and talk about how we couldnít really afford a house and are in debt up to our eyeballs, and that they hear our house is really very small, and that my miserable cubicle job is really a telemarketing job and how boring is that?

I have written off track. Sorry about that.

I guess I am trying to figure out what expectations Baseball boy's family has for me right now. I normally donít care whatsoever about who thinks what of me. I really donít. But for some reason I want to make his parents proud. And I have no idea why.

Up until this point, this year of being 28, I feel like I was quite successful at making his parents proud. I graduated college, I got a full time starter job, then my mom died and I took care of all that, then I started my masters and recently graduated in May. Now I feel like its time to do something else they will be proud of. Something else they can tell the rest of the family about.

You see, their family is a little...well-gossipy. Maybe all families are? It has always just been me and my mom with zero extended family so this whole big family is new to me. But I like it. Baseball boy grew up with lots of cousins and now that everyone is adults, the elders are great friends and the 'kids' are too.

But...when you ask how so-and-so is doing, you tend to get a very detailed account of what that person is doing in life, what is wrong with that person's judgment, and how that was a bad decision. Itís not hateful at all. It's just...showy? I guess.

I donít want to be the loser in the family. Everybody is impressed with Baseball boy. He can ride this baseball carpet for years and no one will question it. But as the woman, the wife, I feel that I am responsible for the 'home' part of our gossip accomplishments. If we donít have a home by now then it reflects badly on me, because people wonder "just what is gamecock doing?"

Anyways, that my vent. Or my question. When I was 20 I thought I knew everything. When I was 23 I realized there was a lot to learn but I had time to learn it. Now that I am 28 I feel that I should know at least the basics. So am I an adult who is slow, or a 'kid' who is over achieving?

I am not trying to make this some type of pep party, or get down on Baseball boy's family, I am trying to figure out the 'net worth' of my 'life status'. Where I am. If I am ahead, behind, and what is expected of me.

The 'kids' in Baseball boyís whole extended family is each doing their own thing, everyone is done with college, many have finished masters...but as the oldest 'kid' (even older than Baseball boy) I feel I should be ahead of them. Maybe thats why I feel pressure. All the 'kids' in the family are about the same age. So it's easy for the 'adults' to compare us against each other.

This is all pretty petty stuff going on here. I realize that.

15 Responses to “Am I young?”

  1. Ima saver Says:

    Yes, you are young!! Most people ( me included) don't get really "good sense" until about their mid 30's!! That is when I got it! But you are smart to start saving your money at a young age.

  2. Myrtle Says:

    Yep, you are young!! Enjoy it... Sounds to me you are doing pretty good. I have an idea you are being too hard on yourself. Baseball Boy's parents probably just want to be included in your lives, which to them is more interesting then their lives. I bet they think quite highly of you. Maybe you could just try to relax and just enjoy being 28! It seems to me you might be well ahead of most 28 year olds!! Keep up the good work.

  3. merch Says:

    I think part of what I see in your blog is a sort of drifting through life. I think if you spent some time just thinking of some long term goals it would add focus to your life. You could ask yourself what your life will look like in 5 years. Or the inverse, what don't you want your life to look like.

    Then you could start looking at things that will move you towards those goals and start working on that.

    For instance, I don't know what 5 years will bring. In the last 5 years I got married, had 2 kids, bought a house, had 3 jobs, etc. No way I could plan all that.

    But in 5 years from now, I really want to have options in my life. How do I do that? Financial freedom and educate myself on various things that catch my interest (like investing and real estate). I also want to give more in the form of charity and am currently looking at the best way to handle that.

    My point is the person you are today is going to be very different then the person your are in 5 years. There's a lot you can change and a lot you can't. You can either drift down the river of life or steer and paddle and enjoy some of the less taken forks.

    Good luck and just trying to help.

  4. merch Says:

  5. Broken Arrow Says:

    Young? I think you are, but rhetorically speaking, it really doesn't matter does it? Perhaps what's most important isn't the number but your frame of mind.

    My parents don't micro-manage my life quite the way yours does, but they do ask from time to time. Especially my mom. In which case, I am only more than happy to give them a dog & pony show about my current financial status, and my future roadmap. I think it is very sensible, solid, and I think they agree. That usually will "quiet" them down. My parents don't ask to be nosy. They only ask out of concern for my well-being.

    Finally, I really do think that wisdom is not in realizing how much we know, but in realizing how much we don't know. And with that, I think you must be making great progress. While I would never stop questioning myself, I would take comfort in knowing that you are continuing to move forward.

  6. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    You think his parents and family might be thinking that you are not achieving enough? Do you feel they think of you as incompetent and someone who must be taken care of? It seems like that is the sort of thing you have said in the past about how Baseballboy's parents treated him even when you were not in the picture.

    They were giving him money and paying his bills sometimes, right? They were trying to make it unnecessary for him to get employment in addition to or besides baseball? In a way, I had thought maybe both you and they were seeing themselves as being his devoted, proud helpers, enabling him to pursue his dream sports career. It sort of seemed as though you and his father were both there to serve Baseballboy, that all revolved around him and making his unusual career possible. So, if family thinks you are not achieving enough, is it that they think you are not providing Baseballboy enough? Are you only good enough if you are providing extra help for him to succeed?

    I'm not sure if this is related or not, but it has bothered me that you even refer to him as Baseballboy. I know you mean it as a light-hearted endearment, but to publicly refer to him as a "boy"? Who thinks who needs to grow up, really? I have just never liked for adults to call themselves or each other "girl" or "boy." Maybe I'm kind of uptight, but I prefer to recognize adulthood even verbally. I stopped referring to my own son as a boy probably around age 14 to 15. He's a young man and I want to recognize that in my very language.

    That said, I do ask my 20 y/o son many, many questions about his life apart from me. Just asking is not micromanaging. I'm not managing his life at all; it is in his hands. I want to hear his details both out of curiosity and because I respect him so much and am so pleased to hear how well he handles things. He knows lots of stuff that I don't, and I ask his advice sometimes, too.

    I do recall my parents giving me a lot of respect like that, too. In fact, sometimes I thought that they thought more highly of me than was justifiable. Smile But I can't remember my parents or in-laws not respecting me as a competent adult.

    How will you know when your beloved's family really does respect you? What will it be like?

  7. cargirl86 Says:

    I think you're all grown up! But I'm 22, so what do I know? :-p

  8. gamecock43 Says:

    And Merch, I am thinking about the long term goals stuff. I need a couple days.

  9. gamecock43 Says:

    Yeah, sometimes I feel like I help out baseball boy, sometimes he helps me out. Lately he's been really good with covering little bills so I can eliminate my cc debt. In the long run I think I get stressed that I feel like as a couple 'baseball boy' and I are not where other couples our age are as far as flashy trinkets to show, and I blame his job. Well, I think I have every right to blame his job. But, our relationship is rock solid and I adore him. I have to remember that type of relationship is valuble in itself. Once again its 'the Jones' complex rearing it's ugly head.

    I call him baseball boy because I dont mind the 'boy' 'girl' catagories. In my opinion every male my age I know is a 'guy' and 'baseball guy' is not very personable.

    But Joan~ you brought up a good point. If his parents respect me, how would I know it? I have no idea. I think they have always respected me, maybe I am trying to stay one step ahead of them.
    I just hear the way kids in the family get compared against other kids, and I imagine all the gossiping about me. I feel like it will be all negative unless I eliminate all possible causes for negative gossip. IE, unless I have a house, a great paying job, all the outward trappings of wealth, then there is always room for improvement and room to talk negatively about me.

    But after I wrote this blog I really stopped and compared myself to the other people my age in the family and we are all about even. None of us has it all, each of us kind of excels in their own way.

    And after you guys threw out your opinions of the "micromanaging" I think you are right. The parents find our lives more exciting than theirs and thats why they are always calling and asking about things. I guess I am not used to all the questions and took it offensively. But after re-thinking it, I dont think that is their intentions.

    I must have some sort of inferiority complex that I think everyone is judging me. I must have some sort of problem that I think I am 'not doing as well in life' as other people my age.

    I am doing fine. I should enjoy being 28. The weather is beautiful outside and I have been sitting on the couch with anxiety that I have too much potential and not enough to show for it.

  10. greengirl Says:

    lol. if it makes you feel any better, there is only two of bf's friends that are paying off their own home with their own money. all of his friends are between 28-32. the rest are renting. one friend just finished a uni degree, and this friend had his parents buy a unit for him (so, he doesn't technically own his OWN home, but it's in his name). he still doesnt have a career or anything, even though he is 30 this year. he rents a room to another friend, who has lived with his parents off and on while working in a five star hotel as a chef.
    one couple is married, the man doesnt have a career, he works part time in a bookshop, and the woman is a teacher who has taken a break to work in an alternative therapy clinic as a receptionist while she stands by her mother who has cancer. their only asset is a car. they rent by themselves.
    one couple rent with a flatmate, they are getting married soon and want to buy in the next year or two. they actually have 'cubicle' jobs, too.
    the flatmate owns a unit, but rents it out while renting himself, because the tax benfits are better. he works in a bank, but he is not sure if this is his 'career'.
    another friend has lived off and on with his parents also, helping them with their farm, and he is also a tradesman. he owns land but no house, and while he has a trade, i don't think he has a lot of money currently.
    i guess what i'm trying to say is, i think times have shifted and people start later in their lives now than what they used to. everyone has this idea in their heads of what they are supposed to have accomplished by the time they're 30, and more often than not they either haven't, or won't, have done that. things are different now, property is more expensive, careers are changeable, you have more choice etc. don't burden yourself with what you think you should have done by now, just keep doing what YOU want, not what other people expect you to

  11. gamecock43 Says:

    Thanks greengirl!
    I agree that the trend is to get started later in life than our parents generation was. I am going to develop some long term/short term goals as merch suggests and use that as a benchmark for sucess than whether Baseball boys parents approve of me/us.

  12. sillyoleme Says:

    I'm a little late to comment on this, but...

    I think you're definitely "young", especially by today's standards. You may not be an expert in your personal finances (who is?), but you are interested in learning more, and concerned that you are making the right decisions, so I think that says alot. After all, if somebody owns a house but paid WAY too much for it or got stuck in a 5-year ARM, then what does it matter? They obviously weren't "grown up" enough to make a better choice.

    Second of all - I feel you on the micromanaging parents. BF's family is kind of like that. My parents dropped me off at the college dorm room and pretty much that was it. I had a scholarship to cover tuition & food, and found a part-time job to cover my other bills. I have always wanted to be independent, so that suited me fine.

    But BF's family will sometimes ask questions or make comments that I don't think are appropriate. They don't necessarily try to micromanage by DOING things... but I think you can still micromanage if you are constantly checking in on details and asking questions. If your boss did that, wouldn't you think they were micromanaging and not trusting you to do your job?

    I have a feeling that BF's mom would call/question alot more if he wasn't living with me. Whether it's because she knows I am pretty on top of paying bills on time and whatnot, or because she knows he will get aggravated at her calling all the time, she keeps it to alot less than it would be if he lived alone. Geez... she'd be trying to come over and pick up his laundry everyday. Smile
    I know everyone says not to worry about what other people think... and I agree with that on a big scale. BUT, if you are going to mesh into somebody else's family, and socialize with them, then you are going to have to deal with their gossip and expectations to some degree. It makes life easier if you know what they are going to talk about and can make sure you are telling them things that you're comfortable being repeated.

  13. gamecock43 Says:

    Silly~ you totally 'got it'. I guess I do worry about what they think of me, because the information will get repeated all over the family, and at least as long as his parents approve of me, I have some insurance that my name will be associated with positive comments.
    I made some litle long term goals that needwork. But looking at the goals on paper, thinking I can accomplish them...I feel pretty proud. Maybe there is something to be said for recording your accomplishments.

  14. ME2 Says:

    This evening, while reporting on the death of a 42-year old woman, the reporter referred to her as being "middle-aged". @@ WTF?!!!?

  15. debtfreeme Says:

    I am just not sure why you would worry about what everyone says?

    There is nothing you can do to stop it and even if you were leading your perfect life (and I think you are being in a good solid relationship and planning for the future no matter where you are) they would still find something to comment on. It is just human nature as hard as that is to hear. I think you are doing a great job.

    I know the respect of your future in laws is important but it is important that you have noticed this now so in the future you are aware of it happening.

    You are doing great!

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