Maya Villiger. I love the simple joy of this photograph
I celebrated my birthday recently with the usual parade of good food and good times shared with friends and family. As my friends and I creep towards 30, there has been the predictable round of despair which can be summed up as: "What have I done with my life?"
The other day, an acquaintance in his 40s, probably sick of the "we're getting old and we haven't accomplished anything" refrain, said something that still had me smiling in agreement days later:
"When you're in your 20s you think you're the SHITZ (and here he did a rapper move) and that you know what to expect from life. Then when you're 29 you'll have a panic attack because you suddenly realise you know shit (he spat this word out) and you start freaking out about what's going to happen to you. This is normal. If you don't experience this I'd be worried because it means you learnt nothing from your 20s. Get a grip."
(This sounded much cooler when he said it.)
I'm not treading any new ground when I say that what I've learned as I get older is that I know very little, very little is certain, and we only know things for sure after they happen. The upside of this it means endless possibility and hope. The downside is that we live in a state of uncertainty and we never really know and that's a pretty stressful state to be living in.
Since I'll never really know, I feel that the attitude with which I approach things is more important than the "thing" itself - to experience life with a combination of logic, empathy, irony and courage to stay the course. And humility, because, again, we never really know, do we?
Picture from turned out