Okay, here goes.
The current date according to the Jewish calendar is Elul 5, and despite starting my 2nd year back from sem I’m still “shtarked out” and using my Hebrew birthday. Thus, today I have entered a monumental stage in life, a point of no return, an age of bifocals, dentures, and social security checks. Okay, I’m stretching it. But the fact of the matter is, the world looks upon twenty year olds with a much different view than the party-hardy teenagers they were at nineteen. A friend of mine is in such denial that after her 20th birthday, she responded “19b” when questioned about her age.
However, the phenomenon of getting depressed over getting older isn’t unique to me. It’s observable that regardless of race, sex, religion, and age, nobody likes getting older. Wait, I take that back. Nobody over the age of seventeen likes getting older. Kids always think things will get better as their age increases, and its true for the most part- allowances, bedtimes- they’re all better for the big kids. Then you hit the age where… you wish you were a kid.
So why do birthdays seem so depressing? One answer: We realize a whole year has passed and most of our “To Do In Life” lists have not been actualized. For instance, I just keep on telling myself, "Go on and do something to conquer your shyness- stop sitting around, either get cracking or go to therapy." My house is full of half-finished art projects and choruses to songs just missing those last few words. It seems the world is full of dreamers with unrealized dreams.
So as I was showering and pondering why shampoos are scented like fruits when nobody would go and squish strawberries or papayas into their hair voluntarily, my thoughts drifted to this. Why is it that we all have so many goals yet fail to acheive them? After much psychoanalysis (hey, I'm a girl. It's what we do best), this is what I came up with.
THE THINGS THAT HOLD US BACK FROM LIVING UP TO OUR POTENTIALS (note: i can't stand that potential cliche, but i got so many speeches about it during high school that its worked its way into my vocabulary)
A) Laziness. Okay, duh. But seriously, we Americans of the 21st century waste so
much time. Like me writing on this blog, it's wasting a lot of time. I should be
sleeping, so I can wake up before noon and get in a Geshmaka Shacharis
(intensely good prayer) and then save up my energy for job-hunting. But noooo,
Ezzie says I have to finish this post or it is hypocritical of the point I am
trying to prove. Back to being serious, though, Laziness is holding a lot of us
back from achieving. And in retrospect, we always kick ourselves for giving in
to the urge to sit back and drink lemonade while opportunity is pounding away at
the door. So, for my birthday resolution, I resolve to get a speaker phone next
to my doorbell. (: Jokes. On to point B.
B) Indecisiveness. Okay, so it might be worse cuz I'm a girl and it takes me
half an hour to order when we go out to eat (forget it when we go to the
ice-cream store), but the tossing back and forth of unanswerable questions has
many of us miss opportunities right and left. Some famous person whose name I
don't remember said "You always miss 100% of the shots you don't take." So while
it is necessary to weigh out the pros and cons before making a decision,
torturing oneself over the decision will only prolong the agony and prove as a
time waster (read A for why wasting time is so bad.)
Remember all of this, there will be a short quiz next period.
C) And my last reason why we end up not taking a lot of shots and therefore
missing them is that wonderful part of our emotional makeup we call self esteem.
Though it is usually regarded as something only applicable to teenage girls
worried that their friends will be embarrassed of their new pimple, it is
something deeply embedded in the psyche of every person. And, once again, it
holds us back from acheiving greatness. Sometimes, (when im in a really
positive, self-loving mood) I'll ask myself, "Self, what would you do in
this situation if you didn't care about what others thought of you?" And the
answer to that question is always... DO IT! Because as Ezzie reminds us every
day when we log on to his blog... "...the people who care don't matter, and the people who matter don't care."
Feel free to respond with your thoughts, birthday wishes, and self-esteem boosters. (Hey, nobody's perfect.)