“When I Was Young”

Do you  remember that period of our lives when we believed  we had come into our own and were so damn full of ourselves, we could do no wrong? When we prided ourselves for being  open-minded and rational, when in reality we saw things only one way, our way!

I’m not talking about that seven year period called our teens, they were all together different. When we were teens  we simply thought  we knew it all, and everyday was about attitude. It could certainly be painful at times, but it was even more painful for parents, teachers and others who had to put up with our smart-ass, know it all, I don’t care attitudes. The truth is we didn’t know a damn thing about life then. How could we? We hadn’t begun to live, let alone learn.
No, what I’m talking about is our twenties, particularly our mid-twenties. By then most of us had either finished college and were beginning our careers or had found a decent enough job that would support our particular lifestyle. We had made it, we had arrived! We were entering the age of status, materialism and competition! Wooo Hooo!  But some of us didn’t handle our new found condition well and were insolent and shameless! Now don’t get me wrong, being full of oneself isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it’s all in the presentation, all about the attitude. Besides, I truly believe it’s a phase we all must pass through on our life-long journey, a necessary one.
At age 25 I was so full myself,  no one could see or understand things as clearly as I could.  I definitely thought I had it all figured out and with only a high school diploma no less!  If  I’d had my college education I’d have been even more insufferable! In retrospect, I realize that in my twenties I still didn’t actually know much about the true nature of living. That decade was an important  transitional period in my life. I was still so immature then and didn’t truly begin to understand things until I was closer to thirty.  I have long joked that my twenties were merely an extension of my teens. Yes I was twenty four- teen  when I did this  or twenty nine-teen  when I did that. And I was so shortsighted. I saw things as I wanted to see them. My opinions could not be influenced. Talk about going through life with blinders on!

Sure I’d listen to advice from my parents and others older than myself, but when all was said and done, my way was always the right way. I tell you, the answers to life’s perplexing questions could have slammed me right between the eyes and I probably would have missed them. I was often blinded by what I thought I knew or how I thought I felt about things.
Truth be told, there were several times during my twenties when I’d get this intuitiveness about something I was doing or a decision I had to make, what a good friend of mine refers to as a gut feeling. I wish I could say that I’d gone with it or heeded the warning, but that’s not true. I wish I had. It would have made quite a difference had I learned to listen to that little voice inside me. Think of all the trouble and stress I might have avoided. But no, I had to do things my way, and would simply push that rational feeling aside and do what I felt like doing. You know “If it feels good – Do it!”

I have long believed that there is a reason things happen as they do and  when they do. The moments of our lives, our experiences, our joy, pain, victories and defeats, help to shape what we become. The simple fact of the matter is that I just wasn’t ready.          Were you?

J S

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