there’s this saying: “growing older is inevitable, growing up is optional.” i’ve seen it time and again for internet memes and for movie plots. my question is, why this need to glorify immaturity? what’s so great about being an irresponsible, selfish being? what’s so wrong about learning to think about others? about taking ownership of your actions? how is that a bad thing?
my birthday was this past thursday and as i reach closer to 30, i’m astounded by the immaturity that surrounds me…and how it’s excused by society. how it is celebrated. yes, let’s all stay selfish adolescents that cannot distinguish or acknowledge our shitty actions. let’s get wasted so no one has to face their behavior and let’s ignore the feelings and respect for others. yes, that’s the glory of immaturity.
i recently watched a ted talk led by a psychiatrist whose message is “30 is not the new 20” and it encourages constant emotional and psychological development in your 20s, because that behavior and mindset will establish who you are and how you act as you get older. it’s adult development; she says (paraphrased), “your twenties are not an extended adolescence”. and that’s true. your decisions, your actions that you do now are what will define and result in your life a few years from now. does this mean that we should give up our seemingly impossible dreams? no. does it mean that we cannot find the same fun and joy in our lives as children do? no. it just means, that while we can hold onto that awe, curiosity, and ambition, we also learn that the world is more than just us. it means that we need to live and act with intention. purpose.
this past birthday reminded me that i need to judge the people around me a little more carefully. i don’t want to close myself off from possibilities, but at the same time, i need to understand my own weaknesses and instead of ignoring my instinct, to trust it. if a person seems like trouble, they inevitably will be. and as mysterious and possibly fun that could be, it always ends in disappointment.