Monday, November 14, 2011

The Triple Ten

I've meant to write this post ever since the 8th. It's one of those reflective posts.

The year 30 is something of a mile-post age. I mean there's no inherent magic in a number, it's just another digit. But it does provide the opportunity to look back on things and see how things have changed.

I look in the mirror, and here's what I see:

-White hairs. They aren't that prevalent, so fairly inconspicuous (to anyone but me). I confess, every now and then I grab the tweezers and pull a few of them. I can't help but think I should wear them proudly, but my vanity still wins out over my aged wisdom.

-The healthiest version of me I've seen in decades. I seriously have more muscle and less fat than I can ever recall having in my life. I think that's almost the inverse of what one might expect from another single American dude of my age.

-Youth. I'm constantly reminded by the youngsters on this campus that 30 is the age of decrepit geezer-hood. I think that is a very relative judgment. I know that almost anyone else would look at the age 30 and would love to be that young. The truth is, I don't feel old. I feel young, vibrant, and energetic. I usually let the number be untold and let my youth speak for itself. Maybe I should also point out that my actions denote a less-than-mature individual. But I can't help that.

I thought for sure that I'd be graduated and moved onto the next stage of my life by this age. I almost made it, and that's close enough for me to be content.

Another measurement is my single status.
I helped lead a field trip to the Grand Canyon last weekend, and all the students assumed that I was married. That came as quite a surprise to me, and it shocked them all to hear that I was indeed unmarried and (gasp) single. I know that this may evident the need for reprimand, but I'm going to say it anyway: I love my life. I'm really glad I'm still single and have the freedom to do things that married folks only think of doing "someday". I don't care if people call me a "menace". I'll smile, not able to subdue the thought that they're at least a bit jealous. It's not that I would shun the amazing opportunity of a blissful companionship. But it hasn't happened and life is still awesome.

I'm not a conventional person. While I know that convention is formed on the basis of hard-earned wisdom, I can't help but question it all along the way. Humanity is composed of the widest spectrum, and we're supposed to all fit into one societal norm of convention? Sorry, but I like to think of convention as more like guidelines. Life is far too dynamic to restrict it to the rigid expectations that have been laid down by society. That's not to excuse behavior that is out of line, it's just reality, and I find it fascinating. It brings color to life.

I'm also aware that I'm not as conservative in my views now. Life experience has taught me that I should be more objective in my approach to life.

That's how I view myself at this stage. It would be fun to know what other people see. Not their modified opinion that would be suitable for sharing, but their honest view. Not that it would necessarily (I spelled that right on the first try!) change my view, but gosh people are interesting.

Thanks to all of you who have helped me survive to this ripe old age and helped to shape me into the guy I see in the mirror.


Wendy said...

I like this post! I've thought of doing something similar for awhile now...just haven't. You've inspired me! I'll try and do it before this year is over.

Steven said...

Thanks Wendy! You should definitely do it. Here's something I left off the list:

Emotions. I respond to things with a lot more emotion than I used to -especially when I see pain, suffering, human compassion, and love. Example: this week, all the male workers at the plasma center had shaved their heads. I wondered, "did they lose a bet? Is it a new regulation that they should have their head clean-shaven?" I was super curious so I asked a nearby female worker.
She explained that one of their fellow workers was diagnosed with cancer and that all the other guys that work there shaved their heads to show their support.
I got all teary-eyed. Every time I saw one of them with their head shaved, it reminded me and I would tear up.
I'm such a softy on the inside! I didn't used to be so reactive.

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