Sunday, February 1, 2009

Wait 'til you're 30

30th birthday German Chocolate cake as crafted by me my wife and our daughterOkay, full disclosure here, I was definitely a kid that hated hearing the phrase "you'll understand when you're older." It was worse yet when someone hit me with a "you're too young to understand." Ouch. It was the Kryptonite of my youth that made powerless all my logic, made moot any argument. I had no counter attack in my repertory against "you'll understand when you're older."

Maybe it's because I wanted so badly to be seen as mature for my age; a cut above the average kid with the ability to fathom the complexities of life that would surely baffle any ordinary kid. Indeed, a superhero of the mind. Maybe.

Looking back now, I don't actually think I had a problem with the concept of understanding something when I'm older. I understood the notion of living and learning--that your collection of experiences increase with time giving new perspectives from which to view the matters of life. I got that and was more or less alright with the idea. What I think I really had a problem with was the idea of an indefinite wait.

Now if someone had told me "wait until you're 30," maybe I would have been encouraged by sight of a light at the end of the tunnel. More than likely I would have collapsed in a fit of impatience, but at least there would have been some sense of finality when the dust settled.

The fact is I learned and understood a lot by the time I turned 30. I don't believe there was any proverbial turning point in my life on my birthday. As was usual, there was no big celebration, no great gala and certainly no sudden angelic glow from the heavens just above my head. My wife, daughter and I baked a German Chocolate cake. It was a quite June day in 2008, but one that made me realize just how much I've come to understand in recent years about living, loving and laughing.

I find myself enjoying a lot more of life's offerings on this side of 30. I find myself more accepting of things and people that I struggled with when I was 14, 18 or 25. I've begun to understand the differences between the person and the decisions they make and how to love accordingly. Even the importance of humor has found new meaning in my life.

I've still got a ways to go, but I'm amazed daily at just how many of the things I've grown to appreciate and treasure I thought trivial a mere few years ago. Maybe 30 is the age of reason. Maybe I'm a late bloomer. Whatever the case, I'm glad I've discovered that the light at the tunnel's end actually does a pretty good job of illuminating the road ahead.

live, love, laugh

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