Naive Potential - Relentless Conventions
Boring habit convention - e.g. the degradation of job routine, the faithlessness of relying on others for salary, the narrow inspiral of parochial that ends in anxious instinctual fascism - were an anathema.
Part of the escape created I engendered through #v###n, it became clear in the mid/late 20s was the preference (as jobs and careers took their toll) for younger friends. Why? It's the opposite of good old fashioned prudence i.e. choices fittest for purpose, an approach honed with age, giving weight to the far future days. It's motivated by something more simple; if divergent.
It's a corollary of rejecting the work-a-day part, practical, pragmatic and quid pro quo. It's a bounce back from refusing the degradation choice: turning instead to humans still vital and hopeful with somewhere to go. This wasn't so calculated back in the day, but with hindsight it's clear. The details were organic and, all in all, it stands up to scrutiny. It was good at 35.
But a decade later the weights and measures of personality have shifted; and not always for the better. There's a stronger sense of time running out - not running out on being alive (this isn't about mortality), but on options that're actually compelling in this whacky world of 7+ billion souls.
The ditzy diversity is fascinating, when it's new, but novelty isn't wholly satisfying. Eventually the novelty of a thing needs to give way to its actual substance. This must have enough depth and/or subtlety else the fascination fades; and with each fade in the specific, the general energy reserve needed to engage the next is slightly less.
The importance of options is not something given much thought ten or twenty years ago. What I mean here is on the one hand, there are flavours of splendid isolation (i.e. where other people don't matter en masse, there being no imposed interaction) and on the other, the connections that evolve into roots made with particular entities, groups, structures and institutions of the anthropocultural world.
If one wants to be IN the world we define as society - and everyone has their own hierarchy of Venn diagrams making it up - one's got to form the connections needed to get anywhere interesting. How easily, quickly, profoundly these connections are created and developed varies wildly and personality plus talent count for much. Associations (recommendations, guidance by an agreeable insider) and will to engage count for more.
Access and energy were always taken for granted and that either could become lost would have been dismissed years ago. This may have been a profound mistake. The conventional world, which is almost all of it, changes over time in how it reacts to you and what is held open with an offer access. It's popular to lament "I Don't Feel This Age!" and often truly said but society doesn't care about your individual story (because it doesn't know it). You are what you look like and, most pointedly, this is defined by age.
Eventually the world changes in how it perceives you - how strangers in their plethora of bit part roles react to you at first (and often throughout) an individual interaction. The strength of convention increases over the years, smoothing the edges of the conventional - insofar as their public persona relates to the world. After a few decades the conventions get so defining they can't be redefined by an individual except with great effor. The end result is doors, most you never even thought existed, close to you as you get older.
I'm, like you, participating in this life of finite time. There comes a reckoning eventually. The revelation of options narrowing - including ones you might desire to pursue - is profound. It changes things, overspilling consequences into all aspects of.daily life. It alters the perceived rules. Crossroads change overnight into forks in the road.
This is the yangtime.
Conditions are different.
New relationships tend to be mercenary before anything else, self interest the requisite energy to drive out the hand of friendship.
The now much younger vitality is too basic, too cul-de-sac, too far back along the line to give years to hauling out of the mire.
Just as important, any younger friends are now the age I was when we went through the unusual quid pro quo, when I benefited from the hopeful energy.
I'm antsy because of the sense of closing time and opportunity.
Those friends are mid-30s, going through their own rootless need for an injection of energy on the threshold of middle age, left unimpressed by the mainstream - as I was, no doubt.
At 45 I'm at best in the same boat; and this makes me little help. I'm over sensitive to devoting time to anything that doesn't feel like a solution. I might be able to come up with a route to that solution, which could helps all, but there's no guarantee of that WHATSOEVER. Thus, a doldrums that's hard to solve. It's not horrible but it isn't wise and it's extremely boring a lot of the time.