Michael Battalio


Friday, August 29, 2014

Serious conversations (part 59): Adulthood part 5

        This series is a continuation of my conversations with an atheist friend of mine. These are my edited responses from that conversation. The fifty-fifth – fifty-ninth entries deal with adulthood.

        Previously I consider some criterion for adulthood. Here I conclude with regarding adulthood as a continuum.

        I have had it suggested to me to change my appearance (including hairstyle) to look more adult like, but that begs the question why do certain hairstyles or other physical attributes appear adult-like?  Who sets that standard?  I think these are just more questions that we won’t be able to answer.  We come across a lot of those in our serious conversation. If only we had more general knowledge in psychology or fashion, we could begin to speculate.

        I’m trying to recall the moment that I realized I was an adult. For me though it was a gradual process.  I would agree that I’m an adult now, but it simply happened.  Perhaps I could narrow it down to home ownership, but it never occurred to me at that time. 

        I have realized that adulthood never is a moment; I am always becoming more of an adult. Adulthood is a continuum, and your life is filled with moments of “becoming” a new person.  I frequently think about how weird time is.  In a sense we are constantly dying in that the person I am now is not the person I was a year ago or a month, a day, an hour, a minute ago.  This person I have become supplants the person I was.  The Michael Battalio that experienced the transition to adulthood no longer exists.  Only the present Michael Battalio matters.  I don’t care about my past self because there is nothing I can do to change what happened to him, but I do very much care about my future self even though I will never meet that person and that person won’t really care about me.  I’m not sure where I wanted to go with that only to say that as I grow and mature it will be at the expense of my less experienced self.   Though I submit that it is not possible to know what I will be like in the future, I presently cannot imagine becoming accepting of death.  However, every elderly person I have known to die has been very accepting of it.  I think that is because they are tired of their lives not because they have accepted death.  Once we can extend quality of life as well as we can extend lifespan the age at which people become accepting of death will increase too.

Friday, August 08, 2014

Serious conversations (part 58): Adulthood part 4

        This series is a continuation of my conversations with an atheist friend of mine. These are my edited responses from that conversation. The fifty-fifth – fifty-ninth entries deal with adulthood.

        Previously I consider some criterion for adulthood. Here I consider my interaction with other adults and why I feel more comfortable interacting with people younger than me.

        One thing that definitely helps with my trepidation in interacting with people is that I am now older than a lot of the people I interact with.  That makes people a lot less scary (for lack of a better word) than they used to be.  I have no idea why that is.  The first exterminator I had come to take care of a mouse problem in my house was younger looking (and shorter) than me.  I was very comfortable talking and negotiating prices with him.  I doubt I would have been able to do that had the person been older and more imposing.  Being older simply makes me feel more in control.  

        In reflecting on my time as an elementary then junior and senior high school student, I think I can explain why becoming older makes me feel more comfortable. I can clearly remember as an elementary student the importance placed on getting older, that the older grades were somehow better or more important and how I constantly envied those older than me.  The same thing is true of high school.  Such a big deal is made of how great it is to be a high school senior, how it is your year, and how important it is, and it becomes the entire goal of high school.  That older age is held on a pedestal for your entire high school career.  We are taught that being older is better (Which I submit is absolutely false, I now frequently reminisce over how nice and carefree childhood was.), and that you shouldn’t interact with people older than you. That has stuck with me since then and inevitably shaped my perceptions of age and adulthood.
 
2003-2016 Michael Battalio (michael[at]battalio.com)