You occasionally hear the saying, youth is wasted on the young.
I know my youth was wasted. Not in the sense that I had a "misspent youth" hanging around pool parlors, getting drunk, partying, and otherwise generally being a wastrel.
It was wasted in the sense that I didn't do enough of that sort of thing. If I could live my life over again, I'd forget about competitive swimming, or at least be less neurotic about it. Or maybe instead I'd have wrestled, which I probably would have been better at.
But mostly I'd just chase girls more. I wouldn't worry about making a fool of myself, or looking bad, or even being offensive. I'd just be much more uninhibited about the whole thing.
Looking back, I realize I was so shy I didn't even realize I was shy.
If I could do it again, I'd act more like the people I generally looked down on. You know, the particularly un-shy ones.
I wouldn't worry about what people thought of me -- what a waste of time that was. And I'd tell people what I thought of them -- both good and bad.
But all this makes me wonder: do old people feel that middle age is wasted on the middle-aged?
I have a feeling I'll look back, think of the ruts I was in (am in), and think I wasted my middle age as well.