Sunday, February 12, 2012

Age 30 is really age 10 (Post on aging: 2 of 3)

At the milestone age of 30, I started to receive all sorts of "old man" comments from those younger than me, from my peers, and even, to a certain degree, from those over-the-hill!  I really don't understand if I'm in some way unique, and was given some sort of youth-serum earlier in life, or whether these folks just don't get it -- 30 isn't, in any way, old!  The way I see it, I spent roughly the first two decades of my life as a child, learning about the world around me*, and growing into the adult person that I am now.  After those two decades, I stood proud, an undergrad degree in hand, as a newbie to the game called "adult life".

Over the past roughly decade, I've finally been learning who I am (as opposed to who my parents raised), and who I want to become.  I'm just now about 10 years into my real, chosen life!  Even upon college graduation, I had many burdens relating to my career launch, social life, and financial vulnerability.  After a few years, I've had time to address and answer these challenges, and lift the burdens.  I feel like there's real breathing room, now that those basic needs are satisfied.  By no means has it all been hard work; I've had more than my share of purely hedonistic adventures, and I think I took appropriate advantage of each to contribute to the well-balanced person that I am now.

These folks just don't get it!  This life is the only one we have, and if they're not on a path they like, they had better sort it out quickly!
At this point, my basic adult 'needs' are met (and I feel poised to tackle the many more years of adulthood to come).  I have a small/reasonable financial safety net for myself, I have a resume that I'm proud of, a job that I love, side-projects that I'm passionate about, and a few established, positive-influence social circles.  While I've given up some absolute freedoms (location, etc.), as a result of making some important decisions, in securing these 'needs', I actually have more freedom than ever before in my life.  Thus, having just crossed the threshold into basic adulthood only 10 years ago, I would say to those calling me an old man: "You get off of my lawn - I've got an incredibly awesome life to attend to!"

* I still consider myself a student, and continually find new interests, develop new tastes, and hone my existing skills.  To me, it seems dangerous to consider my development finished; there's always room for improvement!