I’ve come to the realization that as I approach the milestone age of 30, I have no choice but to grow up. It’s a harsh truth that everyone, even Michael Jackson, has to face one day. Sadly, I’ve missed my flight to Neverland and will forever continue to grow older, balder, and more cynical by the day.
One of the greatest, as well as worst, things about growing up is the power of hindsight. While hindsight is great because it will [hopefully] keep you from making the same mistakes again, it’s terrible because it will also leave you wondering why you hadn’t thought of some of those things in the first place.
Obviously I think it’d be great if I could go all Marty McFly on myself and go back in time to keep me from making choices that I made, or reacting the way that I did. However, I don’t own a flux capacitor and it’s been a while since I’ve owned a pair of sweet Nike hightops.
However, if given the opportunity, one piece of advice that I would pass on to a young professional me right out of college:
Life is going to move on with or without you no matter what. You have no choice, no matter what happens to you, but to keep moving on. And as much as you don’t want to think about being okay when things start to change, you’re going to be all right. I’ve moved on before and life kept going; even if I didn’t want it to. People close to me have died. Friends have moved away. I’ve broken up with girlfriends. None of it makes life stop happening.
So if you happen to be one of those people who’s taking your first few steps in your journey towards adulthood, you may not be able to relate to what I’m saying. Like most recent college graduates, you’re probably still going with the flow, concerned about finding your first ‘real job’ . You’re too caught up in what’s going on with you to see what’s going on around you. So you just keep moving.
But some day you’ll feel sad that you kept moving. You’ll wish you tried to stop and make something work that you knew was impractical but that you wanted badly. You’ll reflect on it one day at dinner or in the shower or before bed and wish that you had taken that risk that you wanted. To stop that world from moving on for just a moment.
Eventually you’re going to realize that you kept moving when you should have slowed down and that bastard hindsight is going to creep up and surprise you when you least expect it. Don’t ever second guess yourself though. You make the decisions you make that are right for you at the time. While it’d be nice to be able to go back and guide myself through life, I can’t. I’m going to finish my Master’s and go from there. I’d love to be able to tell myself to make the other choice, but honestly, I don’t know if the other choice was ever any better than the choice I made.
So I keep going with the flow and figuring things out as I go along. It’s way more fun that way anyways.