Lately, I have been oddly quiet, well at least that’s what I would call it.
The “quiet” started with a series of mixed emotions leading up to my 30th birthday. I always told myself that “age is nothing but a number,” so I am not sure why I ingested the panic juice around turning “the big 3-0.” I became anxious to the fact that I (1) could not control time and (2) to the fact that my life clock was (and is) ticking whether I use it meaningfully or not. Although I found myself quiet and pensive, my mind was wide awake juggling both intense reflection and hopeful visioning. I was emotionally spiraling down a road that looked like nothing more than a dead end and needed to snap back to reality quickly.
I am sometimes guilty of thinking more about life’s big questions than listening for the answers to the questions I have already asked of life. It is in those times that I decided that I must listen quietly, without limitations or interference. So listen I did, but this time to what my life speaks to me, more than to what society and people speak into my life.
I want to live a life in which I worry more about living a life of purpose and growth than about age and timelines. In some strange way, age is a hindrance to growth. In our early years, we think that we have more time to live. Then as we get older, we use age as a measuring tool of how successful and fulfilling our life has been. It is not until someone young dies that we remember that life should be measured less by age and more by value and purpose. We all die, but can we all say that we were “alive” while we were living, or is it more a case of living like the walking dead?
We should live life like Nemo and “just keep swimming…just keep swimming” letting every stroke build upon the last to move us in the right direction and a little bit “forward” every day. And forward is where we want to go, right? Well, forward is the direction we all have to go whether we like it or not. Either we will move forward living and learning, or we will become stuck… in which case life will still move forward without us. See, I was more worried about what I had not accomplished by 30 and how I was now one day closer to death. Then life hit me. I thought about all the people who have died in their youth and it reminded me of the fact that it is not about what age you are, but more about how much you have lived. Dreams are not accomplished overnight, but they will never be realized if we don’t travel/live through each day and each year.
Everything written above is what I tried to tell myself, but naturally I fell into the trap of allowing myself to listen too much to the opinions and voices of “people” and society. I listened to everyone else around me as they asked me questions about “what is next,” what was I doing for the big day, and to their suggestions on what and how I should move forward. So to clear out the influences of “people,” I took what I now see as an unintentional, but necessary, mental cleanse, in which I let my mind breath, wander, question, resolve, reorganize, and recharge. I think the silence is over. What I have to say, I do not yet know.