The Age of Man (and Woman)

While this blog may seem a bit premature, thoughts of crossing into the next decade of my life have been on my mind fairly regularly as of late.  I’m turning 30 this year, the same year Justin Timberlake and Britney Spears turn 30.  While I haven’t achieved the incredible success they have, I seem to be a part of a generation which has yet to exhaust its youthful image.  This strikes me as being very unique.  After all, in hindsight, Generation X had only a handful of bands survive the 90’s and not so many of their hot, young actors have stuck around either.  Granted, the two I mentioned above aren’t the only examples I can cite; just two of the more prominent ones.

To be clear, I’m not saying an aging generation will dominate a certain spotlight over time.  Look no further than Bieber Fever and many more young phenomena of the past to reinforce how youth will always be a presence in the pop culture landscape.  It’s to be expected that youth culture will typically dictate trends and largely define what is popular.  Nevertheless, I think the mold of getting older has been at least partially broken.

Personally, I think there is a cool responsibility which comes from age.  I like how I’m not as casual about things as I used to be.  Frankly, if I was, I would feel pretty lousy that I wasn’t taking enough things seriously.  Instead, I’m enjoying adulthood in all its glory.  Similarly, isn’t it funny how when you’re a teenager, someone who doesn’t have a job is cool since they have all their free time, yet as you grow up, the person who doesn’t have a job isn’t one to envy at all?

Some tell me my age has brought me both wisdom and experience, two qualities which I never made a conscious effort to either obtain or cultivate.  It’s still very gratifying to hear, though.  Looking at myself as recently as this past year, I can easily say I’m definitely not the same person I was last February.  I have made mistakes and learned from them and this has made me the person I am today.  It also shapes the person I will be tomorrow and beyond.

Overall, life in our twenties is about developing who we are and learning what we’re about as individuals.  I’ve made huge strides in this area over the last ten years.  Most importantly, there is so much left that I want to learn and there will be even more I find out I want to learn as time goes on.   I’ll never stop growing and developing as a person and I feel this last decade set that standard for me.

On top of all of that, my genetics have been good to me so far.  I’m often taken for 24 or 25, which is awesome. (Incidentally, at what age does it go from hearing you look older than you are as being cool to being a letdown?)  Hey, my parents look younger to most people who meet them and they’re in their sixties.  If I keep my current streak going, imagine how much younger I’ll look when I turn 40!

When it’s all said and done, we are not defined by our age.  We are defined by our accomplishments, the love we give, and the imprint we’ve left on the world when we leave it.  Live up to your potential and beyond.  Don’t buy into the idea that certain behaviors are expected of you when you reach a certain age.  Naturally, don’t be stupid enough to dress the same way as your teenage granddaughter.  I mean defy the odds by deciding to continue to grow instead of believing we only die as we get older.  Embrace your experiences and expand upon them by living into your picture of success.  Be happy, be prosperous, be fulfilled and keep looking at the best website in the universe (this one!).