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Posts Tagged ‘maturity’

30Our first black president was elected. The financial system collapsed upon itself.  Gen-Y became an engaging force in change-agent politics.

And, I will turn 30. Whoo-hoo.

My enthusiasm is half-hearted because I don’t know what turning 3o is supposed to mean now. There are dozens of lists clogging the Internet about what you should have when you turn 30, what you should do by age 30 or what you should know by 30.

I hate those lists.

I’m 29. And, I’m not sure why people feel compelled to create boring bullet points about what life should be at 30. Especially now, since age is morphing into stupid slogans like, “Thirty is the new Twenty!”

What was so great about turning 20? Nothing, at least not anything in particular. The transition of removing the teen descriptor from your age didn’t make turning twenty any more interesting than turning nineteen.

Turning 30 is more jaded than I could’ve ever wanted it to feel like.

Does anything excite the average 20-something soon to be 30-something anymore?

In reality, when turning 20, the only thing that excited you was turning  21, because only in America are the youth more fascinated with being able to drink legally than voting.

And, just because you were officially out of your teens, it didn’t make you feel any better (or different) about growing up. Like all 20-somethings, you were impatient to get even older.You still had milestones to accomplish. At that age, you aren’t that interested in saving the world (and yourself) from certain doom.

You still had growing up to do.

And because we hadn’t just yet, the markers of adulthood were still beyond us. Until, at least, we turned 21.

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jealousy1Sometimes, I find myself trying especially hard  to not compare myself to other people. It’s particularly difficult since the world has even more opportunities to broadcast successes (or failures) through the likes of the web, social media, television and other similar mediums.

Mostly, I am not interested in the careers or actual lifestyles of the people in question. Nevertheless, I can’t help but feel the green-eyed monstrous twinge that comes with thinking someone is doing a little bit (or a lot) “better” than you could ever imagine for yourself.

Simple insecurities aside – jealousy comes in various forms (with irrational reactions and assumptions following closely behind).

Sometimes, our own jealousy blinds us into make petty judgments in attempts to make our own weak egos feel better. It’s a pathetic cycle for some – I’ve been getting steadily better at not repeating them.

For example, when you meet someone who is amazingly polished – you may assume that person spends scads of money on clothes and other such things in order to look so good all the time.

Maybe you assume that if someone has what you consider a high-profile job, you draw conclusions about them not having much of a personal life in order to sustain such a career. Perhaps, you resentfully think they may be smarter, better connected or more people like them.

Or, you surmise that if a woman (or man) is more physically attractive than you, they may be a snob or an airhead (OK, I know I’m not the only one who has done that!)

These are a handful of the scenarios I’ve found myself in while having the exact same thoughts.  I avoid trying to examine why I am not satisfied by my (current) lot in life. It almost seems preferable to stew in the proverbial green funk that jealousy causes. Why face inner demons to only depress myself?

Supposedly, bouts of jealousy can be used as motivating factors to “dive into the introspect,” so to speak.  Such bouts can analyze what motivates you, examine your values and recognize what you consider noble and meritorious.

On that note, I must be much more shallow than I’d want to admit, but I digress.

All those scenarios may not necessarily originate from jealousy – but I think such moments have the subtle differences of envy attached to them. Without debating semantics, it’s necessary to understand that if you find yourself envious of others – recognize it for what it actually is. Turn it into something positive.

Instead of griping about individual modifiers (ex. they are more, better, prettier, thinner, smarter– whatever!), keep your mind shortsighted about what makes you who you are. Remember that everything is a work in progress.

Be fiercely proud of who you are where you are. Nothing is ill-fated to be mediocre when you are determined to make it (or you) a success. 

Keep in mind: “Jealousy is all the fun you think they had” – Erica Jong

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So, you aren’t waffling about or questioning your life’s purpose? You’re happy. You’ve done well and you feel that life is perfect.

Wonderful.

That doesn’t entitle you to “saving” friends (or foes) from what you consider a dreary, uninspired life.

There’s nothing wrong with becoming a role model – but be just that. Let your friends trot along at their own pace – after all, it’s their pace. 

If a friend wants your advice or guidance, tell them what worked for you, but don’t think (or try to impress upon them) that your success is a one-size-fits-all template.

If you want to rescue someone, do charity work. There’s nothing more socially alienating than treating someone like a case study (or experimental fixer upper project). 

The unfortunate outcome will only lead to your “project” resenting the “help” and you in the end. And, on that note, no one asked you to play social worker, either.

If you are happy and content where you are, keep it up! Concentrate on the challenges that will definitely lie ahead so you can meet them head on.

Inspirational Quote: “Always be a first rate version of yourself, and not a second rate version of someone else.” – Judy Garland

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