When I was a kid, I remember looking at women who were 20+ and thinking how I so wished I was that age so I would finally know everything and would be well-prepared for whatever the world threw at me.
And then I hit 20 and realised that your twenties are all about trying to go from one hangover to the next whilst trying not to die of dehydration. Your 30’s is where it’s at. When you hit 30, you’ve finished your education, you’re in the middle of building a great career, you are at least thinking about buying a house, and maybe popping out babies.
Here I am, a grand old 32 years of age. I do not own my own house, I am not finished with my education, and I sure as heck am not going to start even thinking about kids at any point soon. You see, at every decade I’ve looked up to those older than me, thinking they’re truly wiser. I’ve thought that once I reach that time in my life, I too shall have it all put together. I too will have a clear image of what life is truly about. And when I actually reach that time? I realise again and again that we’re all just making it all up.
Yes, your education and experiences all put together do make up something great, and they prevent you from making the absolute worst decision. But show me one person who truly has it all together, and I’ll show you The Great Pretender.
You see, the unfortunate thing is that With Age does NOT Come Wisdom. With age comes gravity and laughter lines. Even as we try to absorb the wisdom of those around us, those who came before us, life has a funny way of throwing curve balls in our way. Our parents bought houses and prolifically filled the earth with people. We spread avocado on our toast, and fill our landlords’ pockets with money. We’re 80% worse off than the generation before us. When we spend so much time on just surviving, how can we concentrate on bettering ourselves?
The generation that comes behind us will be better off than us in some ways, learning from our mistakes, however life will throw obstacles in their way and they’ll have new things that they will need to learn. And the circle goes on and on.
When I think back to my childhood and the experience I had with my parents bringing me up, all I can think of is “they made mistakes, but they did their best”. Nothing will ever fully prepare you for being responsible for a small human life. Nobody can ever fully teach you the ins and outs of being a parent. Some of it is hard-coded in our genetics, but a lot of it is just trial and error. It’s about learning what works for you, and what works for your child. There are no fool-proof methods because we’re all human.
What does this mean for us then? Should we just give up and think that there’s absolutely no point in learning because we never will be fully experienced in life? I don’t think so. The whole point of this post is to bring about hope. The whole gist of it is that you, the 30-something who feels that they’re just pretending when everybody knows where how their feet are planted, are not alone. We are all just here, just like ducks, on the surface just gliding along, but below the surface we’re just paddling with no heads nor tails.