Friday, June 25, 2010

When I Was 23

Life was like a cresting wave of happiness, swelling nearly every day to greater heights than ever before. Teaching had me around incredibly optimistic individuals, otherwise known as college kids. To be able to teach at that age was a gift, being young enough to relate to the students in ways most are not was priceless. For all of us back then life was at our beck and call, ready to be tamed with our remarkable ideas and unmatched skills. The positivity of youth is intoxicating, the beauty of the campus, the tranquility of life without a bevy of clients to please, it all brought new meaning to the word relaxed.

When I was 23 it wasn’t about what you did each day as much as it was about how you did it. Were you feeling well? Was your girlfriend by your side, or were you still trying to find one? Tough questions that seemed at the time to be the weighty issues of life, framed around how you did things, and how they fit in with your peers. Friends at that age were still a lifetime equation, being so tight then, how could life ever separate us? Beautiful naivety.

When I was 23 coffee was so strong, a small cup had me up all night.

I’m 30 now, and most days I wonder where I parked my truck, or how my neighbor got his lawn to look like a PGA grade golf course. I care so much less about what others think, but just as much about being heard. I want ten kids now, back then I was terrified of the word parent, nonetheless the idea of being one.

I drink coffee now like a five-day parched traveler in the desert consumes water. A cup is never enough, and even when my hands are shaking from the insane amount of caffeine in my system I consider having more. 14 hour workdays are the mandate for the head of a small internet startup. In a way I’m the person I didn’t want to be at 23, yet feel like I’m living a dream at 30. How dreams change…

30 is cool I guess, I appreciate people more, and realize that life moves fairly quick, and that of course like most people my age, I’ve concluded I know next nothing about anything. The word expert is meaningless to me at this point in my life.

Where were you seven years ago? Reflection helps us put in context all the things we have to be thankful for. I’d be curious to know what you were thinking then, and how it all seems to fit now. Leave a comment if you wish, with your seven year reflections.

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