When Did You First Realize You Were a Grown-Up?
Posted on March 24, 2014 by TNS Consulting Team (via Scott Spayd)
Now I know why people in older generations say, “Life was so simple when I was young.” My response to that is, “That’s because you didn’t know as much as you do now.” When you accumulate knowledge, experience and history, things get complicated. Why? Because we are weighing issues, and not only in the present, but how they measure up to the past. Was it better? Was it worse?
I wager that nobody wants to be a traitor to his or her own generation. We look to our pasts when things were “less complicated” and we think our ways then were the best compared to the ways of today. In reality, those “things” – and there’s a lot of those “things” to discuss here – were probably very complicated back then too and they weren’t always better. We just didn’t realize it until later on, maybe way later on. Back then, we were probably more naïve and lacked the fear of consequences. Why? Because experience wasn’t there yet to tell us to be fearful.
Many of us probably didn’t have any clue as to what was going on in Washington. Ignorance was bliss. The economy? What economy? “I’m just working to pay the rent on my 1 bedroom apartment, pay for my wheels, and have enough money to go dancing on the weekends. Economy – Shmonomy!”
Most of my generation would rather have covered their ears with their hands while loudly singing, “Kumbai-Ya.”
Then off to work we went in the mornings hung-over from the previous night’s escapades at the local disco joint. It was all about social life in your twenties. So, how do you know what was really better back then when most of your young life is a blur both then and looking back at it now? I’m not saying we didn’t have lucid moments. I don’t mean to imply we were all high or drunken freaks. Good grief, no. For the college-bound, there were the serious-minded who are reaping the fruits of their academic quests today. Even the non-collegiate folks who put their noses to the grindstone may have been able to create their hard-earned success stories, and are now retired in some upscale, 55+ senior community where it never snows.
There is a pinnacle turning point somewhere between 18 and 24 years old. It seems from your last day of high school to 24 years of age, there are many rapid adjustments. I realize of course, that everyone experiences his or her world differently. The differences could be as unique as fingerprints. But I do know that between 18 and 24 a lot of growing up is happening. The real world (Life) smacks many of us upside the head and with every hit, we grow a bit more. You begin to realize the consequences and they can hurt… If you don’t pay the rent, you will be kicked out of your crib. If you can’t pay your car payment, there’s a tow truck just waiting to come pick it up!
I remember one of the most profound questions my Psych teacher asked our class, “When did you first realize you were an “adult?” So, ask yourself that now. When did you first realize you were an adult? Many answered, having children and being responsible for their lives. Others responded, when they bought their own homes. Still others responded that marriage was the first real awakening into full-blown adulthood. There is no right or wrong answer to that question because it’s an individual epiphany.
By now, I’ll bet you’re wondering how this ties into anything to do with the work place. I believe it’s all about how the younger and older generations view our ever-changing world and what we have to do to keep up the pace as we ride the big tidal wave.