That Makes a Whole Lot of 41 Sense

obituaryRegardless of your age right now, do you feel like you have it more figured out than you did 10 years ago? What about one year ago? One week? How long does it take for you to realize what it took for you to feel content with your life, as it is right in this moment? For you to realize that you’ve grown, and that you are doing things better than you once did? Or maybe you aren’t content? Do you even need to be content or do you just go day to day without really paying attention?

Do other people think about that incessantly like I do? Does it really even matter because in the end, we are only what we fathom in our self-absorbed perspectives; after all, if there is anything I’ve learned by being an educator or just a human for that matter, it’s that our perspective is our reality. Whether it’s right or wrong, it is our truth until we gain other information in order to change it. Further, behaviors are a result of needs. Maslow’s research indicates to us that when our needs aren’t being met, behaviors attempt to change that. We really just learn things when we are ready to.

I reflect about that kind of thing all. of. the. time.

On Crossfit‘s facebook page the other day, they posted this: “Getting better at what you’re bad at is as crucial as learning where the brake pedal is in your car; without it, the gas is suicide.” You get points for effort in my world.

Thinking about who I use to be, If I were to write the obituary for my 20-year-old self, it would probably go something like this:


Laura Kathleen Hilger, age 20 of Conyers, passed away just in time. She is survived by her parents, siblings, distant relatives, friends, and of course, her better, improved older self.

Laura attended Heritage High School, before attending the University of Georgia, where she spent more time partying than studying, and while that was very, very unhealthy, it was also worth it because this lifestyle led her to wanting to travel more, which ultimately led her to some of her life goals. Of course, her 20-year-old self didn’t survive to see them fulfilled, but went out with a bang trying.

While family was important and a secure backbone of support for her decision-making, or lackthereof, Laura spent much of her time with close friends, and developing her non-stop chattery on all subjects with the rest of the 20-year-olds she hung out with. Not that she knew anything about most things; she just really, really enjoyed talking. Her self-absorbed nature while in conversation actually did lead to new relationships, albeit failed ones, but she always appreciated the fact that people were willing and able to put up with her.

20-year-old Laura was an avid music listener and watcher, party animal, traveler, outdoor explorer, tap dance teacher, and the list goes on before she kicked into gear to grow up. Current 41- year-old Laura recalls her last days of being 20 in Crete, Greece, which is where she put to rest much of her preconceived notions about what she wanted out of life……

or something like that.

Of course, she is still a part of me as I hope and believe that I’ll always be young at heart, and ready for randomness. She also had some reflective aspects about her that were more grounded than your average 20-year-old, but, I can feel her getting further and further down into my body, sinking to the souls of my feet. Now, I’ve come to a level of impatience with those kind, similar to CK Louis’ take on the subject.

imagesThe other day I was on a plane headed to Atlanta from Charleston, sitting in front of two 20-year-olds, who were meeting for the first time. At first, I didn’t notice the constant wave of pure banter, but then it quickly became something I could not block out. I turned my music up…I tried to read…I tried closing my eyes and flying away in mind….it didn’t matter. They seemed like they were screaming their nonsense so loud that no one else on the plane could focus, but really, I think it was just me. One would say something, and the other would slightly interrupt with their version on that topic. One would talk about their college, and the other would have to compare it to her college. Question, answer, laugh, snicker. It. Did. Not. Stop. I promise you, the conversation went on and on from the time they sat down until the time I was able to bust out of that plane. Thank goodness this was an hour flight as opposed to the 7 hour nonstop I had to get on just after that. It’s not like you can request a seat change in mid-air.

It isn’t that they aren’t good people; they both seemed content with their lives thus far and they both, from the indications of the conversations, had their shit way more together than I did at their age. I’m not judging them as people, but am slowly realizing that those types get on my nerves. My patience for them just isn’t there, and as long as I’m not rude to them, it doesn’t really have to be. It isn’t their fault that they are annoying me; I’m the one with the problem and I’m the one choosing to get on airplanes full of strangers, all of whom have their own unique personalities with OCDs, habits, and just plain weirdness.

I’m certainly not a perfect 41-year-old, and now, I kind of realize that I was, to most 41-year-olds, a very annoying 20-year-old, but in the end, we have to get through that stage to get to this stage. While I know I need to respect that, it took everything I had to keep myself from turning around, and asking those girls to stop. Stop talking for at least 2 minutes and see if you like it!!!! I’m not the hater that CK professes in the clip below, but I’m going to have to practice some serious patience to prevent that from happening.

Speak to me

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