As a child, I was desperate to grow up and start doing adult things. And by adult things, I mean having my own money and make my own decisions. I thought adults were the luckiest people on the planet. They could come and go as they pleased, nobody could question them on how they spent their money, and the best one—they did not get spanked. How cool was that? Those were my thoughts as a kid. By my judgement, childhood was all about people telling you what to do, and that sucked. Until I grew up,
Far older now, I realise I was having a tea party as a child. Now, I look at children and envy the life they have. An existence that is free of worries. I recall the times I could not wait to exit that stage and shake my head at my ignorance.
It’s the same thing with every season of life. Kids envy adults, adults would give the world to reverse time and return to the apparent bliss childhood is. Some of us long to be at the stage our parents are at. A season where they are done raising kids and can now sit back and “enjoy the fruit of their labour”.
From our lenses, a life devoid of school runs anymore, or answering to an overbearing boss is the real deal. On the flip side, senior citizens miss the days when they were more active. Many times, they are lonely and reminisce about the days when the kids were still at home, and yearn for that kind of company again.
We all want to be somewhere. Anywhere apart from our current place.
For the unmarried, the obsession is with getting married. They are consumed by the thoughts of having a partner and view those who are in the marriage institution has having attained a level higher than them.
The married covet the freedom single people enjoy.
That a human can just hop on a bus or plane to another destination without recourse to another human is foreign to them; a life unencumbered with the responsibility of raising kids is something they crave from time to time.
I call it the anywhere-where-but-here-syndrome. Dissatisfaction with the familiar, not necessarily because the familiar is bad but on account of boredom or the illusion of something better.
Have I said it is bad to desire something different? No.
However, the sooner we realise every season of life should be cherished for its uniqueness, the happier we will be.
A kid who is impatient for adulthood is oblivious to the immense merits of being a child. He takes the free meals and bills paid for granted. He is not saddled with the burden of making decisions, and even when he errs, an adult gets the blame. He underrates the agility of youth, his ability to engage in physical activities that will exhaust the adult in a moment.
Teenagers and young adults who are in a hurry to attain full adulthood are ignorant that they are their most energetic and creative peak. They are unmindful that they can put in that 12-hour marathon work shift only by virtue of the inimitable strength that comes with youth. A strength that ebbs away as they age.
Hunger, drive, desire, fearlessness—these are qualities that are heightened in young people. Oftentimes, age breeds caution, and less desire to take risks. If you need reasons to not want to grow old fast, I have just given you some.
And if you are an older person reading this, you need to know that your strength lies in the wisdom that often accompanies age. Your ability to be unfazed by the distractions and seeming challenges that get the younger generation in a state panic comes with experience. Your insight and measured tone aren’t happenstances. They are blessings that come with your season.
For the employed, it is an opportunity to grow and learn from colleagues. The knowledge and discipline that comes with working in a structured environment are blessings and lessons for the future. So, maybe you shouldn’t rush to be an entrepreneur.
The entrepreneur can take pride in his guts to build something in an environment that gives you countless reasons not to. He does not need to rue the days when he had a boss.
The married should be grateful for a lifetime of companionship; the privilege to have that one person who would go far and above to make them happy.
Seen what I am trying to make you see yet?
What you consider a limitation is not, many times.
Your ability and willingness to introspect will help you acknowledge this.
For every season of your life, there’s a strength. Embrace it.