While I fully understand your point, Kim, this is where I might disagree. I used to feel that way in my twenties, as well, and in all honesty, it’s very much a part of being in our twenties. I’d be surprised if folks didn’t feel this way.

What I might suggest is that time is a wondrous teacher, and in some ways the only way many of us get perspective is what we use to call in the service Time in Grade, Time in Service. Until I’d done some time, I simply couldn’t get the promotion. In life terms, I don’t get the perspective until I’ve got the road rash.

The do it now or never is a societal construct. The sense of urgency is also self initiated, and while I absolutely understand it, it’s also a lie in some cases (in some, it most certainly isn’t). When we buy into it we end up making decisions based on scarcity (which sells a whole lotta shit) and the belief that IF I DON’T HURRY UP AND GET MARRIED RIGHT NOW I NEVER WILL. Holy cow, the divorces and single moms that notion has spawned. And, to be fair, single dads. Some of us, like my buddy Sonja who for years wanted her chocolate drop (she’s Black) is now, at nearly 60, VERY glad she didn’t. God, who knew at that age? Most of us just don’t possess absolute clarity, and are doomed to stumble along for a bit. That’s what being young is all about. Now, shit, man, if we could only be uber young, and uber wise…..

I believe powerfully that the mistakes we inevitably make (whether in our twenties or otherwise and in my case they never stop) ultimately are the guideposts that lead us to where we belong. That is if we don’t let the them defeat us. I tried various iterations of writing and speaking, and in some cases they didn’t work AT ALL. That’s the only way I found where I did belong.

The word that sticks out most for me is your term “blindly.” We agree absolutely on this. The wholesale throwing of yourself into something, while romanticized, is in many cases just plain foolish. For a lot of us, working to pay the bills while nursing a passion along on the side is a perfectly legitimate way of accomplishing both. Perhaps the word I’m after here is overused but still apropos: balance. In a world where it’s damned difficult for people your age to pay the basics (food and gas are nice to have, especially if you’re living in your Corolla), the options are constantly shifting. What perhaps annoys me are the happy dappy Pollyanna phrases that promise the earth without also considering that there is a great deal of digging to be done first to have it. That is a setup for disappointment, and why I sometimes cringe at life hacks and shortcuts. There is no short cut to the immensely important work, and internal work, of determining where we belong in life. It never ends, for that matter, for each decade demands something different of us. While here I also acknowledge your very legimate point that our interest do shift- because WE do- in many cases I have found that the undercurrent to those shifting interests often still speak to what moves us most deeply. Not everyone, and most certainly not all the time. I would dearly hope that our righteous fears about basic survival needs a la Maslow don’t waylay what we love, or permanently place them on the shelf of dreams always and forever without a delivery date.

Here’s to living out loud, Kim, at all stages of life!

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Horizon Huntress, prize-winning author, adventure traveler, boundary-pusher, wilder, veteran, aging vibrantly. I own my sh*t. Let’s play!

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