I’m on the old side of things now. I’m not old. I’m just on the old side of things.
I realized this the other day as I was driving home and thinking of a conversation I had at the office with a young colleague. I totally understood what she was saying. In fact, I agreed with most of it. Or, at least, my 20-something self still hiding inside me agreed with her. My 30-something self had a much different perspective on the whole conversation.
And it hit me. I was the older, more experienced person.
When I was in my 20s, I made friends with someone at a new job who was in their 30s. I remember often thinking that she was cool but had a very “old” outlook on things. There was very little “joie de vivre” in her eyes. She had dreams and plans, but they seemed grey in comparison to my big dreams and plans. I was so optimistic; so unencumbered by life and its experiences. I was going to turn the working world on its head. I was going to do something special. I was going to be something.
Well, 10 years have passed and I did do something special. Twice actually. And I am somebody. I am a mom. To two beautiful, special children. I hung onto my career, so I now understand why that woman I made friends with at my first job seemed so lackluster. It’s hard, exhausting work raising a family and maintaining a career. There isn’t a lot of time for big dreams and plans.
So I am now that woman in her 30s. I’m not quite sure how I got here. It certainly wasn’t part of my plan. 😉
And those big dreams and plans I had for myself and for the working world? Not to put too fine a point on it, my family is more important. I like my job. I like the people I work with. But they won’t be holding my hand at the end.
With age comes a little perspective. And I like that.