Is it an early #039;mid-life#039; crisis?

Published 12:00 am Friday, October 3, 2003

As a person who's always acted way too old for his age, I realized something just this past weekend. Apparently, I've acted too old for too long, and now I must be going through an "early mid-life crisis."

Laugh if you must, but I think it's really happening.

As a teenager in high school, I put too much pressure on myself to succeed Š I didn't go out with my friends on Friday and Saturday nights, I've held a job since I was 16, and never found the time to do any of the "fun stuff" my peers were always talking about.

My mother used to say I acted like an old man and that I should get out of the house and do a little. My dad was the same way, only he would say things such as "When I was your age I was always finding something to do."

Well, that just wasn't me. In college, that wasn't really me either.

Sure, once I got to college, I did "loosen up" a little and have some fun, but it was all mostly related to some type of school activity. Football games, conferences, and a few concerts. Other than that, I was at home (or work) every night and weekend, taking things seriously because I was a serious person.

After graduation from college, I waited two days before going to work - no vacation or break. I graduated on a Friday in March, and moved into a new town in Georgia that Sunday and went to work that Monday.

I didn't have time for all that other stuff. I was a serious college graduate.

Now, I've bought a house, got most of my college loan paid off and working in a good job. Everything should be perfect, right?


I've realized that at age 28, I'm becoming an old man. Set in my ways, already a home-owner and worrying about the stuff most people don't even think about until age 35.

After this realization, I've noticed I've started looking at things a little differently. I've started looking at sportier vehicles (although I have a pseudo-sports car now - they do race it in NASCAR!), adventure-type vacations hiking through the jungles of central America, cruising the Mexican riviera, jetting off to Europe and hiking through the Black Forest - you know, all the types of things that either college students do, or men experiencing a mid-life crisis do; even thinking about selling it all and heading to some Caribbean island and living like Jimmy Buffet (OK, I think everybody thinks about that type of lifestyle).

You know, it's all the things that guys in their early 20s do, or men in their late 40s through 50s do. Does that mean I'm prematurely aging, or simply starting to enjoy life?

Am I hitting my "mid-life crisis" at 28, and if so, does that mean it's all downhill from here?