Two years too early

I'm turning twenty years old in a little over three weeks, but for the time being, I'm still nineteen. Everybody around me is surprised to learn that I'm that old. I'm nineteen, a cum laude graduate, and already working as an offshore writer for an entertainment website, and people could probably only expect so much from me.

Well, I don't know. People are expected to do certain things at a certain time. I, for one, was expected to graduate from college at age 21, be able to deal with life before that time, and maybe get a well-earning job right after. Oh, and get circumsized before I hit sixth grade. (I am circumsized. Don't imagine things. There's nothing to imagine.)

Obviously that time table's been wrecked before a time table could be set. Thanks to someone thinking I'm a genius - my IQ level apparently says so - I entered kindergarten when I should be in nursery, and graduated from sixth grade a year earlier. I got kicked out in high school, but I was still on track anyway. And, thanks to DLSU's trimestral program, I finished my college degree in three years. Thus, I graduated at age 19, and have in my hands a relatively well-earning job.

People probably think I'm one hell of a guy. It's their mindset, really: you're very smart when you're ahead, and you're very stupid when you're behind. Before, when I was much younger, it felt so good being at grade level ahead of everybody else, but not because I get to finish earlier. Rather, it's because I am ahead of everybody else. It's a race, after all. And in that race, I am so much better.

Obviously, that hasn't worked. I'm a nineteen-year-old yuppie, with disposable income being spent on earphones, haircuts and the occasional CD. I go home from work by myself, slowly blending into a crowd of older people who are supposedly more frustrated in life than I am. Guess what? It isn't really the case. I actually feel I'm in the wrong crowd, surrounded by people who've theoretically been through more because they're older (or at least more exposed). The UA&P campus is right nearby, and whenever I walk along the row of restaurants dotting Pearl Drive, I always end up thinking, those students could very well be me.

At this stage, I'm probably more lost than I ever could be. It's funny thinking that before, I had at least an idea of where to go - from here, to the magazines, or to the microphone, speaking to a potential audience of millions rather than to some disgruntled stupid American. But my location comes with expectations, of me being mature enough to handle the pressures of life, the universe and everything. Who would've thought that by running a little faster, you'll miss out on the very things you actually need to survive?

I used to think I was mature for my age. Other people think that I speak and think like someone in my mid-twenties, something obscured by the fact that it mostly happens online. Apart from that, I've always warmed to people who are older than me - consider that I talked to librarians and guidance counselors during my high school years. And, last Friday, I talked with the administration guys, and a bunch of researchers for another account, during the Christmas party. Maybe it's because I was surrounded by people who are at least a year older than me, and it must've rubbed off somehow.

But sometimes I think these circumstances have actually made me immature. I come to the game with less time spent and less idea of how the world works, so I couldn't possibly deal with everything that life throws at me; I just don't know what they are. Part of it could very well be because I was diagnosed with ADHD at age 12 - a developmental condition, which still gets in the way when it matters the most, even if people (wrongly) think I've outgrown it. Well, other people think my quirk of doing things without thinking about it, at least for a longer range of time, is immature. So is my quirk of giving too much attention to one thing, to the point that I look like a snob. I end up crying over the results, like I did on Friday night. And guys like me shouldn't cry, right?

Perhaps everybody really is immature. Either everybody's raising the standards when the next best thing comes by, or everybody just doesn't get it. I'm good at one thing, and bad at others, and other people will say I'm either just this or just that? Or, worse, just do things with those assumptions? This doesn't just go to the three people that sit to my right, but to everybody else. Don't blame me for being two years too early in the game.

And your responses...

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