Growing Up Isn’t Such a Clear Direction
When you are 24, in a new city, mostly unemployed, and unsure of your “career,” it’s easy to feel like you don’t know anything. Maybe I should write my chef d’oeuvre now before I become completely clueless.
However, there’s nothing like overhearing a group of 18-year-olds to make you feel incredibly wise.
Last week, I was riding the train home and couldn’t help but listen to a gaggle of college freshmen girls. As they chatted up some boys sitting nearby, I noticed their leader and her strikingly confident demeanor. At 18, she knew everything, and it showed in the way she talked and laughed; she was queen of her world. I admit I felt old that I was headed home on a Saturday night while they were only beginning their underage quest for booze. More than old though, I felt wise. It was a strange phenomenon. I realized that in her first week of college, this star of public transport’s world was still rather small. Within a year, she’d probably be less of an expert, and by the time she was 23 or 24, she’d be lost like the rest of us.
It’s not actually that I know less the older I get, but that for everything I learn, I become aware of something I have yet to learn. In fact, it works maddeningly exponentially. For every one lesson learned there are two unlearned. For every two points wiser, I lose four.
The older I get, the bigger my world grows, and I become smaller in comparison.
(Photo courtesy of Eneas via Flickr)