Interest and age. Loss or evolution?

Times Square, NYC. The only time I go is when out-of-town friends want to visit. Otherwise I go out of my way to avoid this tourist conglomeration.

I never thought I’d be saying this — but yesterday was a Friday night, and the whole day at work I was looking forward to coming home that night... to cook. I kid you not, all I wanted was a relaxing Friday evening with a podcast and some flavor finessing.

While I was in the midst of putting finishing touches on my stuffed peppers, a friend messaged me. Come out for drinks with us!

I declined.

Why did I say no? Was it because I was busy preparing food?

Kind of, but it was also because I had a 9am workout class on Saturday morning.

How did it get to this? Why would you do this to yourself, J? Cooking on a Friday night, 9am workout classes on a weekend, what’s next — retirement?

I never thought this would be me. Back in college, the only reason I wouldn’t be out on a Friday was if I was working that night at the bar. I couldn’t wrap my mind around the idea that someone wouldn’t want to do something fun with friends on a weekend. That is what weekends are for, I thought. That, and sleeping in.

And now here I am, 26 years old, cooking by myself on a Friday. Even more shocking (to my 20-year-old self, I’d imagine) is that I’m enjoying it.

Have I become more mature? I don’t think so. Or rather, I have, but in the context of other things. I don’t think cooking on a Friday night is a good measure of maturity. I think instead that it’s really more an example of how our interests change with time. How we change with time.

Twenty-year-old me would probably look at my current self with some mild disappointment. Kind of like I look at my 40-some-year-old parents today with mild disappointment that they don’t stay up for New Year’s. Kind of… boring of them. But someday, that might be me. I might stop staying up for New Year’s eventually, and I’ll probably be totally content with that. It’s weird to think about.

In fact, Friday nights at home by myself doesn't sound like a downgrade. I’m very thoroughly enjoying my nights in. Cooking delicious food sounds a lot more appealing to me than stuffing myself into an already-overcrowded bar and waiting ages to buy an overpriced cocktail. And recognizing my time is valuable, I don’t want to spent it hungover or sleeping through the whole morning.

The question comes down to whether we lose interest in things as we get older, or whether those interests evolve. At twenty, I thought it was the former, but now I’m thinking it’s more of the latter.

Maybe that’s what maturity is about. Recognizing that interests change with age, but it doesn’t make us more boring.


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