To My Twenties: The Decade That Taught Me Paradox
June brought a close to my twenties, and so in the spirit of marking time- as much as an illusion as it may be- thirty lessons for thirty years, in shapes of paradox and juxtaposition:
(1) We have lots of time; we have little time.
(2) Change happens slowly; change happens quickly.
(3) Let people in; some people ought to be kept out (boundaries are your birthright).
(4) Be consistent; be adaptable.
(5) Shelve your shit; share your shit.
(6) Show up; lie in bed.
(7) Let go; hold on.
(8) Keep going; stay still.
(9) Creativity requires solitude; creativity requires connection.
(10) Find awe in story; wonder in science.
(11) Rely on self-sufficiency; ask for support.
(12) Seek simplicity; embrace complexity.
(13) Prioritize your needs; be of service to others.
(14) Follow your head; follow your heart.
(15) Intimacy is by way of a shared safety; intimacy is by way of a shared unknown.
(16) Quality work depends on play; quality play depends on work.
(17) Say yes often; say no often.
(18) Speak up; listen up.
(19) Know the need for persistence; know the need for surrender.
(20) Anger is productive; anger is destructive.
(21) Seek answers; ask good questions.
(22) Look for understanding; find acceptance in not knowing.
(23) Dream up big goals (point your ship), relinquish your goals and arrive in process (sail your ship).
(24) Hold yourself accountable; hold others accountable.
(25) We need internal validation; we need external validation.
(26) Be on time; lose sense of time.
(27) Live intentionally; live spontaneously.
(28) Things will fall apart; things will come together.
(29) Know yourself; see through the illusion of self.
(30) Stay humble (you’re one of 7.9 billion & counting); stay boldly brazen (you’re one in 7.9 billion & counting).
And when I look back on turning 30 when I am 40, 50, 60, and beyond, I expect I’ll find amusement in all that I did not know- or maybe I’ll feel some surprise in seeing what I did. Likely, though, it will be a little bit of both and somewhere in between.