A friend forwarded an email this morning with 50 questions promising to free my mind. Though I didn’t have time to read through it, I skimmed the first questions before closing out of it.
The first question: How old would you be if you didn’t know how old you are?
As I moved on to work related emails, the question stayed with me. How old do I behave? One of the things that occurred to me is that maybe I’m acting like I’m in my 20s because I know I am in my 20s. The one thing I knew for sure— I didn’t want to be acting younger than I was. Am I happy acting my own age? Maybe.
This got me thinking about yesterday’s post. I don’t think most of us understand what “exceptional” means in our 20s. Most of us are figuring things out and people know that. Most of us are confused and trying to get through the financial struggles of getting on our feet. I, for one, think it’s harder to be a 20 something today than ever before. I think most of us are asked to take on more responsibility and grown-up struggles than we really understand at times. When I spoke to Q, who is in his 30s, about my dilemma (someone having asked me to be exceptional at something) his response was more like my parent’s than my friends. My friends, who are my age, had had a different take on it, which is when I realized that attitudes change over time regarding goals and obstacles.
So, I have an answer to this… I do not how old I behave at the moment, but I would like to behave like I am in my 30s. It seems to be that people experience a peak in their 30s. I think it’s when our experiences come in full circle. I think at 30 we realize that some jobs or bosses are not that great. Despite this, we have a lesson to learn and we have a mountain to climb. Despite bad attitudes at the office, we have to cover our asses and figure out a way to shine on our own. Trust me, the bad bosses go across industries and agencies. The same applies to friendships and romances. Don’t woman reached their sexual peak at 30? Couldn’t it be because they reach a state of comfort where they are ready to just enjoy it? Perhaps, it’s the same with life. Maybe, we’ve been dragged through so many experiences that it suddenly dawns on us… some experiences will be amazing, some won’t be, but as long as it’s taking me forward, it will work. If it’s not, we’ve been around long enough to figure out the next step.
I think it’s about effort & acceptance (and less complaints!). Yes, despite following the rules, believe it or or not, the person we love just won’t be who we need them to be. Yes, despite being good at what we love, the world may not drop what we’ve been working so hard for at our feet.
Whatever accomplishments we’re craving, the journey is about the effort and the understanding that effort is all there is. All we can do is work for it. There will be editors that say no, significant others that don’t call when they should, and bosses that will not acknowledge our hard work. In the end, whether we are getting reviewed, dumped, or someone is stomping on our dreams… deep down inside I think we will all come to pull an insight from it. Sometimes it’s because we didn’t try hard enough, but other times it just wasn’t meant to be. It’s about complaining less because we’re adults now. I don’t think that we are allowed the same childish antics and excuses on the third floor. I feel like not as much bullshit is allowed up there.
So, my answer is 30s. I hope to create a new mindset for myself this year. I’m cutting in line with the age thing and I’m hoping to grow into this new bracket.
I think it’s when we realize the nest is no longer in the view and a new kind of ownership is taken of our lives. We still may have all the time in the world to accomplish our dreams, but I think it’s our 30s when we realize we want to live them now. The only really bad part about our 30s is that our metabolism slows down, but I have been preparing for that for some time now, so you’re on your own on that one.
The idea of now makes today feel a little more important than tomorrow, doesn’t it?