- I don’t have to be a doormat
As a kid I was shy. I preferred not to be noticed or seen in school. A lot of that had to do with dealing with bullies. This persisted into my early 20’s as well. I would sometimes speak up in college, but it wasn’t the norm. I would let people say things to me and I would keep quiet (mostly) and fume to myself. Standing up for myself didn’t happen. Then I had a life changing experience happen in 2013. I let a toxic (former) friend walk all over me and in many ways control me. After bouts of anxiety and seeking help I realized that I spent my life too afraid to say anything to defend myself or call out a relationship for what it was. It’s never too late to be your own advocate. Don’t let people walk on you and abuse you. I know it’s easier said than done, but if you don’t do it who will?
- Society sees people in their teens and twenties as young and at 30 you’re suddenly old.
This is an overly simplistic statement I know. Obviously not everyone feels this way, but the impression is there. Since I turned 25 I’ve known classmates to lament how old they are. Really? Old? So, you spend 2/3 of your life as a senior citizen? I’m pretty sure that isn’t how it works. Old indicates the last stage of life, not the one immediately after being young.
- Wisdom doesn’t always come with age.
From childhood up through young adulthood I strongly believed in revering what my elders have to say, for they are wiser and more knowledgeable than I am. That is still mostly true, but I’ve also accepted that aged people can be immature too. The election of 2016 made that crystal clear to me with reactions from people significantly older than me who should know better. I’m not talking about not liking the results but all throughout the election I saw what would be considered “classic millennial snowflake” behavior from people who were Boomers or Gen X. We should always consider what those older have to say but temper it with reason too. Just because someone is older doesn’t necessarily make them wiser, age can and does come alone for some people.
- I have so much to learn.
Piggybacking off of #3, I am also still young and know that I have much to learn. I started down the path of being a writer in late 2014 and I’ve got a ways to go before I reach my goals. Analyzing and changing strategies is something I’ve found to be important. Admittedly, the market is over-saturated with bloggers and authors all trying to make their way which makes things more challenging for me. Of course this is just one small example, I have room for growth and learning in all aspects of life. It is especially humbling listening to those with whom I disagree. Most people we can learn something from.
- What people think of me isn’t as important.
This is related to #1 somewhat. If people thought something untrue about me when I was younger, it bothered me. I wanted to change their minds. The bigger the misconception, the more it bothered me. It wasn’t until my mid to late twenties that I started accepted I cannot change other people’s perception. I may have known it intellectually, but my heart didn’t. Now it matters less to me what people think. Being a stay-at-home father who is a full-time writer, I’m certainly no stranger to judgement and criticism. I don’t need to justify or explain that this is what’s best for my family and what my wife especially prefers, and where I’m called to be.