Getting Old

     Childhood was a wild scramble of ideas and behavior. Anything cool you saw you’d copy the next day, like making the effort to descend each step of a flight of stairs foot by foot, grasping the glass of water with one hand, and, for girls, posing like the teen girls they saw in TV commercials, or, for boys, posing like a wrestler or any of the power rangers. It makes sense why a lot of toddlers start off clumsy and accidentally-destructive. They’re just so curious and open. It’s a later period of emancipation where they begin to differentiate admire matureness in adults: opening up a wide spread of newspaper, hunching up on a study table with a lamp, being smooth and swift in basketball or seeing a sort of femininity in volleyball. Some saw parents in blazers coming home from work, while some heard drunkards and corporal child punishment among the neighbors. Some had a rigid schedule of piano lessons and Kumon, while some were free to wander around and bathe in simplicity.

     Today in our 20s, what have we finally got? Here we are slugging it out in college. It’s not much a wild learning experience anymore. We’re straddling a gray region between our past and how we want to step into the future. At a time when we’re barely adults and no longer children, we’re struggling to prove that we were raised right and where we’re going is to the land of milk and honey. It’s such a battle! But as much as everyday is a new experience, we still intuitively return to the essential things we learned as younger people, and there’s the rub.

     Getting old is sort of a stasis. Sure you’re hitting your highs and getting ready for the real life, but there’s just so much compactness about it. The world just passes left to right through your eyes and you crawl up in your own little corner, ever dreaming backwards. Life should be full and satisfying; lived with passion and purpose. Life is a historical continuum — its parts are sown organically and with meaning. It’s not meant to turn out the way you want it to, but think of your childhood and childish selves and how you’re no different then from today (static), and oddly see that…there’s no other way for it to have turned out but in that way! You still miss your old toys, your grandmother’s voice, the only church songs you could sing by heart, and all these other artefacts of an earlier time. But knowing in your heart that every day is a blessing will make lessons your new toys, your seniors as a wise and sensible voice, and your profession as your indefatigable religion.

    Life should be a delicate balance of real. No pretense. Just your ideas, your education, your past and your purpose. Sure, have that ’emancipation’, but make sure to have it only once. With that, get your dream job, gain your best friends, and have your best days.


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