The issue, as all issues are, is best posed by a Kanye song.
“Everything I Am,” is the song, and if you don’t know it, congratulations: you’ve just learned of a Kanye song to listen to. In fact, you should probably take a moment to listen to Kanye’s full discography, just for completion’s sake.
Better safe than sorry.
But, back to the question at hand. The song will explain itself better than I can, but Kanye, exasperated but accepting, reflects on all the things he’s not that make him the Kanye he is. He couldn’t even sell the beat to Common! Just like how I had trouble tying my cleats in a soccer game when I was seven and had to be subbed out in the rain.
We’re basically twins.
So, we define ourselves by what we are, and by what we’re not. But what does that mean? Should we accept that definition or fight it?
There are two arguments here, both equally valid.
1. Fight Your Boundaries
Who’s to tell you that you can’t do something? Yourself? That idiot? Go over some Skype conversations from 2010 and tell me you trust that person’s judgement on anything.
Why should your limitations be any different?
What don’t you like? When did you learn? Can any decisions you earned at seventeen deserve a place at twenty-three? Are boundaries keeping you back? Is a string of rhetorical questions getting you a little bit amped to, I don’t know, kayak? Um, find a gym?
Open your mind to the vague, undefined expanse of freedom. It should be staggering, but you should plow ahead into the snowy uncertain world. You’ll be stronger for it.
And you’ll find homes there.
Age brings new powers, new prowess, and opportunities. Right now- and I’m talking right now– you could book plane tickets. Get a weird Wednesday deal and fly cross country for $280. You could shake up your…well, your life sounds dramatic. But you could shake up your months, weeks, or even days with small changes and stretches- and isn’t that what life is made of?
Do Pilates and open yourself to new lives.
2. Know Your Soul
What kind of new age crap is that up there?
Look: life flexible and pretty on paper, dreamed and whipped by English majors who couldn’t possibly be bothered to live or reflect on life as it is. I mean, have you seen life as it is for English majors?
Give them pity and a wide berth. We’re talking facts here.
Here’s a fact: not everything is for everyone. And that’s okay! Stretching yourself is good, but to actively test your limits is actively misunderstanding what life is about.
Life isn’t about doing as much as you can. Life is about doing what you love and doing it well.
That’s it! Who cares if you don’t want to ski or never get around to it? It’s great for some people. Doesn’t sound like it’s for me. I don’t really like physical risk of the cold. Sure, I can ski lodge and drink boozy hot chocolate but I live in Boston– I do that already.
So, forget stretching yourself. Forget that new age “who knows?” try-anything-once energy that gets yelled aloud more often than it’s lived. You are who you are. And that’s fine. That energy and money is better spent delving deeper into what you already enjoy.
Maturity is making peace with who you are and what you like.