The Y of Living Imperfectly: Forever Young and Gen Y #atozchallenge

So many adventures couldn’t happen today
So many songs that we forgot to play
So many dreams swinging out of the blue
We let them come true

Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever, forever?
Forever young, I want to be forever young
Do you really want to live forever, forever, forever?

From Youth Group – Forever Young Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Y Challenge Letter The thought of living forever seems a double edge sword. As I age, the notion of quantity of life is giving way to quality of life. Of course, this is a personal choice for everyone, but to me, I want to make the days I have left count and to squeeze the most out of them.

I have written before on this blog about thinking old v thinking young and how at this age and stage, the difference between the two approaches becomes more striking. For our perceptions and choices at mid-life seem to have a large bearing on older ageing. At least that’s what it seems like to me . I really feel like I’m at a cross-road at this point, needing to decide whether to think young or think old.  Any decision or choices I make on the score will impact on how I set myself up for the second act.

Ha, I’m still talking as if I am not in the second. Possibly denial, but I would like to think of it more a long the lines of young thinking. For as long as I think young, I can stay in the first act. Thinking forever young works for me.

Being bit of an upside down, back to front person, I feel like I have moved beyond the stage of older thinking in my life. By older thinking I mean being driven to the totally practical because of perceived risks.  This sort of thinking came in my twenties and thirties at a time when everyone else around me was thinking young. Whilst I can’t deny that it served me relatively well, I can’t help but feel there was a price I paid for it, namely regret.

Which is why I have made the decision to age disgracefully imperfectly.

 Need to be careful not to sound like this

Need to be careful not to sound like this

I had a great discussion this morning with my eldest about following your heart and having the confidence to do so. At the age of 19 these are weighty issues to consider, mostly because at that age the heart may not be giving you consistent signals if it is giving you any at all. And as a parent discussions like these are a real tightrope walk, because the practical always threatens to intrude along with the notion of what we would do in a similar situation. The natural instinct of a parent is to prevent pain and suffering for their child, but if we don’t let them have these experiences how are they to learn? Vicariously through others? A lot of adults live their life that way, but to me that’s even more risky because learning through the mistakes of others tends to lead to living through others. I’d rather have my boots on leading the way. And it’s not what I want for my children. However it is their choice.

So it’s why I now find myself in a postgraduate media class at university filled with a bunch of Gen Ys. The experience has been interesting and for the most part I enjoy it. There are a lot of bright young things out there and I believe the world’s future is in good hands if these kids can ever get on the job experience. The necessitymature age student meme of graduate qualifications to getting a job in today’s competitive world has been rammed home to me. Most of the “kids” in my class have started their postgrad education immediately after finishing their bachelor degrees, some with a total change in discipline. They compete for intern positions to build their CVs and with the hope of landing a full-time job, eventually by the time they are in their mid twenties.

This is very different to my undergrad days when postgrad degrees were a sign of “going the extra mile” for advancement. They were therefore regarded as optional until a career move made it essential. Because of my love of learning I actually had only one year from when I finished by bachelor degree and started my postgrad degree. But that was highly unusual and well, I’m weird like that.

So following your heart and making it in this world as a young Gen Y is not easy. Following your heart at any age is not easy, but I think it’s essential to thinking forever young.

13 thoughts on “The Y of Living Imperfectly: Forever Young and Gen Y #atozchallenge

  1. I went back and got a public health masters a few years ago. Of course, there were people of all different ages and backgrounds getting their MPH, but it was still interesting to see how school has changed, and for the most part, I was one of the oldies. But like you, I was impressed with the young people fresh out of undergrad. They were motivated, determined, and hard-working. It was a treat to be in their class.

    Good luck with your course!

    • Thanks, it’s good to be surrounded by a whole lot of different perspectives. Especially in a subject like media which tends to draw from all disciplines given the importance of publishing these days in all fields.

  2. Judy, nicely done. Don’t think young, don’t think old. Just think and do what is best for you. I love growing old imperfectly. These old bones are right there with you. Best wishes, BTG

  3. I hear ya, Judy. What’s most frightening to me is the perception of how fast time moves. For the young, it’s often interminable whereas I find I’m more and more shocked to discover how much it’s accelerating. My vet told me my dog was getting elderly. I did not believe her until she showed me the shot records that proved my dog was 9 yrs old. How the heck did that happen?

  4. True, the clock starts ticking faster and louder and our hearing decreases. That kind of irony is that?
    I can’t believe your A-Z Challenge has zipped by as well, though I missed most of it. Still the month of April is almost gone.

  5. When I was 40 and my Mum 80 I could never understand her wish to “die soon”. Now I do understand how she felt and it is not something morbid or depressing. Life is indeed about quality and not quantity. It is a gift for the young that they can live life in the moment unencumbered by concerns about their eventual demise.

  6. Thought-provoking as always! I tend to say I am less serious now than I was in my twenties. I was very determined, singled-minded, and “knew exactly what I wanted” (I thought) – I often think I would have some interesting discussions with my younger self.
    I would probably not change a thing but I would simply have a bit more fun and take things easier.

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