I was hit with an odd wave of mid-life crisis on my way back home driving from Atlanta. Which is ridiculous since I’m only 27. (Quarter-life crisis?)
It probably bubbled up from listening to Chance the Rappers single’s where he has a line about being 25. Chance is adored by fans everywhere (especially bonnaroo) — not that adoration matters. He’s making great music and having a ball doing it.
And there are millions of amazing young creators out there making incredible things. It’s too easy to compare yourself to that and feel discouraged you’re not doing enough. I don’t want to be Chance, or anyone other than who I am, but I do want to master and create amazing things until my hands bleed and my clothes burn off from effort and action.
However, there is still that sprinkle of regret and crisis feeling of not doing enough, not being enough.
Of course this is baby thinking. None of this actually matters. As long as I stick to what’s true for me, and always take bold steps towards the things I fear the most, my age will be irrelevant.
I hope when I’m 30 I’ll say ‘I’m only 30’ and when I’m 45 ‘I’m only 45’
and 50 ‘I’m only 50’ and 88 ‘I’m only 88’… until I die helping people, doing thing I love, surround by people I love.
When people cling to their time at high school it can be for many different reasons: community, learning, structure, simplicity, popularity, friendships, hobbies, goofing off… And the same is true for college or group experience.
To sum: Bonds. We forge bonds of friendships, mentorship and skills. Those bonds give us purpose, meaning and direction. And when life changes and time moves on, we can cling to the past and what we had, instead of focusing on the opportunities in front of us we could have if only we’d look up and see them.
Nostalgia is one thing, regret is another.
If you’re longing for the good ol’ days of your past, regret inevitably creeps in, infecting your ability to act towards your future.
When this happens there’s only one thing you need to do:
Forge new bonds.
Build the friendships you can surround yourself with every day. Hone skills through daily, consistent actions. Learn everything from anyone doing what you wish you were doing. Find mentors to direct you towards your goals. Bonds are what make us happy and stronger.
Stay BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner