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Growing Up Isn’t Such a Clear Direction

Submitted by Katie on September 23, 2010 – 12:38 amComments

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The older I get, the less I know.

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)

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  • Kaselinsky

    Your words ring so true, Katie. I often find myself blurting aloud, "there's so much I don't know". I really like your style of writing.

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