It’s My Party, and I’ll Cry If I Want To – Part 5

June 30, 2012

 Picking up from yesterday

I was talking about how we use “young” as a compliment.

And we use “old” as a derogatory term. It’s a way we self deprecate. “Oh, well I don’t know how to use one of those new fangled twitters; I’m an old lady. Hardy har har.” It’s a way people make fun of others. “Aren’t you a little old to be (insert thing here)?” I’ve heard people judge others for still being single at a certain age, or for going backpacking at a certain age, etc. Our lives are all different. When did we all get so judgmental, right?

Of course, it’s not good to be too sensitive. People make jokes about everything. And I don’t believe in censoring comedy topics. Again, I’m one of the worst offenders. I often make fun of myself in my old lady voice. As I said on this same subject a million posts ago, I love finding laughter and joy in life. Sometimes we’re just teasing each other. But teasing can be taken too far, I think. Jokes are great and hilarious, and I never want to be someone who takes herself too seriously.

I want to be free in life and let things roll off my back, and always assume the best in people. That’s what I want. But, I have emotions still. I don’t want to be made to feel that every year I become less than. And I certainly don’t want to inadvertently make anyone else ever feel that way with a joke or off-hand comment.

My final thought on this age stuff (for now at least) is that I think we have to live as though anything is possible at any time – because it is.

There was once a Broadway producer who had given himself a goal in his 20s that he’d be a producer on a Broadway show before he turned 36. He was working toward his goal, and was definitely going to make it while he was 36, but he was gung-ho that he had to do it before his 36th birthday came. That’s what he told himself 10 years ago, so by golly, he was going to do it.

The only show that he could get in on before his birthday came was one that he was pretty sure wasn’t going to be successful. You could see in the way he talked about it, and mulled over it, that he knew there were problems with the show. But was convincing himself it was the best idea. After all, he made a goal with an expiration date. It must be done!

Not surprisingly, the show closed not too long after it opened. It lost a whole bunch of money. (He lost a good amount of his personal money along with his investor’s.) He went on to produce a number of successful shows. I believe his next six shows recouped. And his record started out with a huge blemish. A bummer, right?

If you take a chance on something you believe in and the world just doesn’t respond for some reason, that’s one thing. But if you force yourself into doing something you hate or don’t believe in so you can say that you accomplished your goal, that’s another.

I think there’s a line between setting a goal, and driving yourself toward failure. Yes, we should be pressuring ourselves to be great. And we should be working every day to achieve those great things. We should make plans and goals. And sometimes you have to be a little blindly ambitious in order to anything, because, you know, life is hard. But I’m learning that you also have to take life into account. I don’t mean we should use it as an excuse. “Eh, I hit an obstacle, so it wasn’t meant to be.” I don’t mean that at all. I just mean if you wanted to do something before you’re 40 and things keep you from doing it until you’re 42, who cares? You cannot beat yourself up about expiration dates. The only expiration date that actually matters is the one where they put us in the ground (or incinerator or what have you). Then, and only then, is it too late to make a change or accomplish something new.

Thank you for allowing me to rant. Sorry I took up the whole week. Age gets me super riled up. Let’s go run this frustration off.

I'd love to hear from you! So whaddya say?