Thursday, August 26, 2010

The Greatest Decade(s) Of Our Lives - Life In Our 20's

Early this morning, as I was turning on my computer to start work, my manager walked in to say hello and to drop off her things before she headed off to a meeting. I noticed she had dressed up more than usual (most likely for the meeting), and, before I could stop myself, I complimented her by blurting out, "Wow, you look so pretty today!" Clearly, the boundaries of appropriate compliments are unknown to me when I enthusiastically flatter people's outfits. How awkward.

Despite my lack of compliment etiquette, my manager didn't mind. In fact, she laughed and shook her head to say that she didn't think she did and that she's just another old lady. Before she walked out, she stopped and added thoughtfully, "You're in your 20's, correct? You're at the best age right now. You're living the best decade of your life."

Interesting. As 20-somethings, are we really living the best decade of our lives?

I have no qualms admitting that, personally, being a 20-something is awesome. As an adult-but-not-quite-an-adult, I don't have the responsibility of a mortgage or dependents. Nor do I have as many restrictions as I did when I was a teenager. Alcohol consumption is (definitely? certainly? inevitably?) an option, as are late-night outings which I would never have been allowed to go to when I was younger. I don't have to worry about growing pains, high school dramatics. I don't have to worry about house maintenance, heating bills, things I certainly take for granted as I comfortably live in my parents' home.

I love my age. I absolutely, positively love love love being a 20-something. Old enough to make my own decisions, yet young enough to have a world of opportunity in front of me. I have friends who are, quite simply, stuck in love with being a 20-something, hoping beyond belief that they can forever stay this age, that future responsibilities and realities will never catch up to them. Conclusions? Being 20-something is awesome (Word).

However, I don't think one decade of life is necessarily, ultimately greater than others. Each age is special. Each decade holds special, memorable moments. Being 20-something isn't all that life has to offer. In fact, there's so much more to come. Like the initial moments following your engagement. Or the moment you obtain a full-time, permanent job with benefits (how adult). Or the moment you realize, upon graduation, that you are totally, completely, ultimately, forever done school. Or the moment you say I Do. Or the moment you sit in the hospital, about to welcome a new baby into your family. Or the moment your children start kindergarten, primary school, high school, university. Or the moments you watch your children grow up. Or the moment your children receive that letter of acceptance from their university of choice, jetting off to live in residence a few months later. Or the moment your kids leave home, and you sink down on the porch, realizing with excitement that you're an empty-nester. Or the moments you begin your retirement, anticipating travel destinations, awaiting what else life has to offer you.

Undoubtedly, we're enjoying being 20-somethings. And while we love where we're at right now, let's not forget that we have our entire lives ahead of us. Opportunities and responsibilities will eventually present themselves: ones that we will inevitably come to love and embrace. We have so much more to look forward to. I don't think we should be scared or apprehensive about what's to come. In fact, I'm definitely excited!

"I like living. I have sometimes been wildly, despairingly, acutely miserable, racked with sorrow, but through it all I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing."
- Agatha Christie

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