As we age, we tend to become less emotional. There are many reasons for this: experience, acceptance, a sense of control over our lives, among others. This reducing of turbulence allows us to be more present and more immune to the stresses of endlessly contemplating our general direction and the infinite forks on the road ahead.
This maturing brings with it some caveats, however. Aside from the obvious effect of ageing on the body and our diminished energy and physical ability, we often accrue a series of conclusions about the state of the world; our like and dislikes, our strengths and weaknesses, the type of people we connect with etc. These assumptions are drawn from our experience and ultimately leads to a narrowing of diversity in our lives.
With reduced diversity of experience, we encounter less emotional turbulence, opting for a sense of peace, safety, comfort, and familiarity. After half a lifetime of stress and challenges, it is understandable why many would prefer the latter half of their lives to be slower, and deeper.
The early part of life for many, on the other hand, is a rather tumultuous affair. We are educated for a significant portion of our young lives, with often irrelevant information that is either quickly outdated or never used again. We are indoctrinated on how to be a good, competitive, contributing member of society. We wish to fit in with our contemporaries and feel loved for who we are.
At this stage in our lives, we are desperately seeking our own authentic self which often alludes us, after years of being told what to do, how to behave and what to believe.
We wrestle with our own conflicting feelings that sometimes seem to be averse to those around us and go searching for ourselves in all the wrong places. This is all an inevitable part of the journey and unfortunately, there are no shortcuts, despite what self-help gurus will try to sell you. You wouldn’t listen anyway.
We struggle to believe in ourselves at this young age as the road ahead seems dark and daunting. We want to have fun and explore like Leonardo DiCaprio in The Beach, make our parents proud while becoming corporate overlords like our good friend Leonardo again in The Wolf of Wall Street, while impatiently…