Between you and me, there’s something I have to get off my chest. Since I’m told the first step to finding a solution is to admit you have a problem, I’ll just come right out and say it: I’m a bit immature.
There, I fessed up. Are you happy now, you big, stupid jerkface?
By my own, very unscientific, completely biased estimation, in my head I’m roughly 9-years-old ( something I’d argue isn’t necessarily a bad thing, financial management, career-planning and driving skills, not withstanding).
Frankly, being 9-years-old is far preferable to being 25 years old, an age at which, let’s face it, pretty much everything goes down hill.
But nine, nine, on the other hand, is a pretty solid age. You’re rocking multiplication tables in math class. You have yet to learn about “your changing body.” Boys still kind of have cooties, except for that one boy who you “like- like” but vehemently deny “like- liking” until your best friend weasels the truth out of you at a slumber party. Plus, as a bonus, you’re big and scary enough to defend your turf from those wimpy first- and second-graders at recess.
In short, you’re kind of an elementary school badass but you’re still blissfully years away from middle school when everyone will get zitty, clicky, snotty, cynical and overly-enthusiastic about overtly-terrible music.
At nine, the possibilities are still endless. It’s perfectly realistic to believe that you’ll grow up to be exactly what you want to be. The fact that at least 10 boys in your third grade class are confident they will play in the NFL is totally acceptable. Of course their dreams will all come true. Even that klutzy kid who is more of a target than a participant in dodge ball is sure to be the next Tom Brady. Obviously.
But then you grow up. You outgrow your sneakers. You outgrow your pigtails. You outgrow your dreams. Suddenly what was plausible is now impossible. What was once a sure thing is now a pipe dream. It becomes clear that not everybody gets what they want (except for Tom Brady- that guy totally got what he wanted).
Most people would call this understanding realism, which is fine the world needs realists. The world needs people who think rationally, who look at things logically and definitively. The world needs people who see things in black and white.
But the danger of a world full of realists is it can quickly turn into a world full of cynics. In this quest for rationality it’s easy to forget who you were when “what do you want to be you grow up” was a question you actually knew the answer to.
They say with age comes wisdom, I say that’s a bunch of baloney (baloney, written by old people).
Now, don’t get me wrong, I know plenty of older people who are wise, witty, wonderful and completely deserving of admiration. But on the other hand, I know quite a few of my elders who do not deserve to be revered just because they’ve been hanging around longer than me.
The point is wisdom doesn’t necessarily come with age: it’s not a combo deal. Some might say there’s even a special kind of wisdom in looking at things from a child’s perspective once and awhile: a perspective with undiminished expectations.
And well, if you don’t agree with me–what do you know? I kind of thought you were a jerkface anyway.