I remember being twelve and waiting and waiting until my thirteenth birthday. I couldn’t wait to become a teenager, to be more “grown up.” I thought that once I got a little bit older that people around me, mostly my family, would finally stop and listen to what I had to say and value my opinion. Basically, what every person in the entire world desires; to have a voice.
We all want to be heard, respected, and listened to.
I wish I could tell you that, as I have aged, that my voice has become more prominent and that people actually stop to hear what I have to say. Unfortunately, that is not the case.
I wanna tell you that, as you get older, that people will listen to you and value your wisdom, but I would be lying to you.
Even now I am stuck in thinking that people will only listen to me or believe me once I get a bit older. Obviously that is not the case.
Once I turn eighteen people will get me. Once I turn twenty-one people will listen to me. Once I turn thirty I will have a voice. Once I have children people will respect me. Once I turn fifty my voice will be valued. Once I retire people will think I am knowledgeable.
When does this ever end?
Once I die people will finally understand that I knew more than they thought…
People seem to believe that with age comes wisdom and that if you haven’t experienced it outright that you have no voice in a situation. I don’t believe that.
I believe that people work together to make each other better. We should value the experiences we each have and learn from each other. Instead we live in a world full of competition and an I-am-better-than-you attitude. In other words, we are stuck up jerks.
But some people are placed in our lives to push us and to be there at a specific moment when they are needed.
When I worked at a clothing store last year, in a black hole town, I felt like my life wasn’t going anywhere. We were stuck.
One day I was folding clothes and folding clothes and folding clothes. It had been a rough week and I was just done. As I was folding one of my best friends and a previous associate came over to me. We started talking about the world, life, and everything. We got on the subject of dreams. Not the kind you have a night but the kind that we think of all the time, the ones that drive us to do the ridiculous things we do. I told them that my dreams were not going to come true in black hole America. They told me to move. I told them that was impossible. And they asked me why…
Because I didn’t have enough money.
Because that isn’t where I saw my life going.
Because I thought it was impossible.
I ended up crying by the end of the conversation because I knew I wasn’t where I was supposed to be. I mean at THAT moment I was supposed to be there because I needed to be pushed, I needed to hear them tell me that nothing was impossible.
A month or two later I was talking to my mother-in-law and she offered to let us come live with them in a different town while we went back to college and got degrees. The idea was initially ridiculous to me. Go live with my in-laws? No thanks. Two weeks later I was thinking about the conversation I had while folding clothes. I then knew what was next.
It has been a year since we made the decision to move and almost a year since the move. I am happy that we came here and I am pumped to keep living this adventurous life with my husband.
What does any of this have to do with growing up and people not respecting us? The two people I spoke with, who pushed me, were both younger than me. They saw something in myself, and those around them, that I could not see or was refusing to see.
Age has nothing to do with vision, dreams, and wisdom.
At an early age I had more wisdom then some people who have lived three times as long as I have. I have seen people fall, fail, and then pick themselves up. I have lived in a bubble town and witnessed the effects it had on its inhabitants. I am living. Despite what people may think of my age (too young) I have seen more than some of my peers.
The next time you go to be stuck up to someone who is younger than you because “they just don’t understand” stop and listen to them, they may know a bit more than you or have a bit of insight on the matter.