Ding Dong, Your Youth Is Gone

By Mary Tanner Wilson
November 3, 2011 • 0 comment(s)
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Around this time of year, I always get the itch to hop into my four-poster bed, pull the comforter up over my head and hide. This year, was way worse. The weather has absolutely nothing to do with it – I’m actually doing it because I just turned 31.

Have you heard of the Thrisis? Yeah, it exists. I’ve dabbled in this condition for a year, and now that I’m 31, I’ve been completely shoved into it.

Birthdays just aren’t what they used to be, you know? Sure, you’re gonna get the obligatory birthday cake (bonus points for marshmallow icing), and if you’re a Halloween baby like myself, you’ll have a super cool costumed birthday bash. Each and every year, I’ve always been so uncontrollably excited about Halloween, my birthday, the time of year when I get a little bit older and wiser. Wait, older? I’ve never really noticed…

Until now.

Now is when I’ve noticed the innate glee has started to disintegrate. Where the heck did it go?

Over the past few years, as my friends and I hit the inevitable “dirty thirty,” I’ve heard a lot of the same sentiment from the over-achieving crowd of most-likely-to-succeed’ers.  You know the type, the crowd that’s been at the top of the class since pre-school, first to land the must-have job right out of college, first to be promoted into management, first to blah, blah, blah….we’re used to hearing, “You’re so young to have accomplished so much!”

And that’s when it hits!  

For the past many years, we’ve been  recognized over and over again for being ahead of the curve. We enjoyed every minute of our adolescent selves basking in the glory of the game of life. How could we possibly go wrong with the invincibility of youth on our side?

We’ve heard these words stroke our ego so often in fact, we’ve done everything but add the word “young” to our intrinsic list of personal attributes on our resume.

Yeah, we’ve built an amazing house of cards for ourselves. But for many of us (oh wait, for those of us who are going beyond the 30-mark) that house of cards is starting to fall down around us.

 It’s time to face the proverbial music – we’re not young enough to be young, as Lavinthal and Rozler put it. But we’re not old enough to be old. Instead, we’re somewhere in between getting the pressure to have it all, while our elders (and ourselves) expect us to be perfect while we work to achieve greatness.

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