There's a tendency for people as they get older - and they start building a family, and they spend more time on their careers, blah blah blah - to forget what it is (or simply not have the time) to just sit back, relax, and have some fun.
I am not one of those people.
When I was younger, I couldn't figure out why adults didn't want to just play and have fun all day. I figured that they must, at some point in their lives, be forced to enter some kind of "maturity machine" (this is absolutely retarded, but very, very true) that transformed them into boring people that only cared about money, working, cleaning, and stupid arbitrary bedtimes. I guessed that sometime during their teenage years everyone is sent to some dull gray building with no windows, and Frank Sinatra playing in the background. And once they walk in they step on a conveyor belt, enter the machine, and say goodbye to their toys, their love of freeze tag, and Lik-M-Aid forever.
I was determined to never enter this machine. And I knew it was possible, because of my uncle Dennis. He was super fun, and as far as I could tell, still an 'adult'. He helped me get rid of my vegetables when I didn't want to eat them (and my mom wasn't looking), he was always making jokes, and he was always up for being silly, watching t.v. and playing games.*
Having recently seen the movie 'Chances Are', I decided that if people like Robert Downey Jr. can get reincarnated with memories of their past lives still intact, I can avoid becoming a fuddy-duddy boring adult. And in a way, I succeeded. Maybe a little too well.
Here I am, some, 20 years later - and while I did manage to get a job, an apartment, and I've adopted some of the adult habits and rituals I thought I'd somehow be able to avoid forever* - I still have a fair amount of that boy inside of me. To this day I prioritize 'fun,' or to my 29 year old self, 'chillin,' to a ridiculous degree. I treat going to work, cleaning my apartment, and exercising with the same kind of disdain I had when I was kid, when I was going to school, cleaning my room, and playing in gym class. I rush through everything as quickly as possible until I can get back to what I considered fun.*
It's almost like I went through the machine, but while it was operating on me it broke down about halfway through. Now I'm a 29 year old man-child that belongs in a Judd Apatow movie*. Here's a look at the thoughts that run through my mind, on any given day - say, on the subway ride to work:
The above chart works on two levels - one is contained in the information provided within (which is surprisingly accurate). The other is a bit of a side note, but it also proves my point just as well. Up until this moment I had never created a pie chart in my life. Now keep in mind, I ran my own company for some time. And today is the day I decided to make my first one - and although it took me about 45 minutes to generate the chart, figure out how to extract the image and tweak it so it looked just right, when the cause is right (as in, pure buffoonery) for me, I will do whatever it takes.*
That's the twisted thing - I've become this sort of 'Fun-aholic' (or Chillin'-aholic, if you will). I plan out my days off far more meticulously than I do my work days. I've got more forms of entertainment than I know what to do with - my DVR is perpetually full, and my Netflix movies go unwatched for weeks/months at a time (and this is when I'm not playing video games!) And I'm always up for a game (these days board or card) of anything.
It seems like the only things I'm passionate about are the things most people give up at some point in their lives for something more productive, or fulfilling.
And if I just - and this is where I can distinctly hear my mother's voice echoing my own - spent half the time I normally spend doing all kinds of nothing, by now I probably would have learned how to fix a car, how to play an instrument, or invented the world's first Chocolate Robot. And I'd be rich, I tells ya!
But do I regret what I've become? Or any of the time I spent just enjoying myself? Can't say that I do. I kept a promise I made to myself when I was young - one that I made based on a clear lack of understanding of the ways of the world - but nevertheless, I'm proud of that.
As of midnight tonight, I will be 1/3 of the my through my journey into...the maturity machine? Or something. Whatever. This year sucks.
Yeah, but I'd still rather be playing: A good 'ol fashioned game of Kirby's Dreamcourse:
*Right about here is where you might expect me to say: it's unfortunate that he would eventually molest me when I was 9, or perhaps that he was actually just an alcoholic. But surprisingly enough, he didn't, and he wasn't! Thank you Uncle Dennis, for not being that guy!
*I distinctly remember counting down the days when I could just have Doritos for dinner every day.
*Then: Legos. Now: Porn!
*Seriously Judd - call me. I loved Undeclared! Just replace "stoner" with "gamer!"
*Essentially, I am more motivated to use a pie chart for a visual gag than I am to study the purchasing and rental patterns of my customers. Fantastic.