Sunday, December 4, 2011

Age and Experience

It turns out when your levels of work-related stress go up, your bloggin' mojo goes way down.   And I'm still young enough and inexperienced enough that small changes induce heavy stress. I'm looking forward to being so weathered and calm in my professional self that most everything leaves me un-fazed.  But then, I might get bored.

When I look at my co-workers and see that they are mostly twice my age and hear their stories of living in tents or otherwise wiling their lives away in a direction-less stupor when they were my age, I start to wonder. If I didn't hit all that like I was supposed to at this point in my life, does that just mean that phase is coming?  Does having it mostly together when you're young, aside from continually feeling clueless but stumbling through anyway, mean you're going to burn out and hit a midlife crisis when you're thirty-five?

Something you don't learn in school is that your education, once you leave school, is just beginning.  The thing you have to learn, beyond just the skills and knowledge of whatever job(s) you end up pursuing, is simply how to be an adult.  How to project confidence when you interact with people with twice your age and experience, how to make snap decisions in a vacuum of knowledge, when to just shut up and do your job and when to step up and say "I think we could do this in a better way."  Not to mention how to pull yourself together out of your direction-less stupor if that's where you're mired to begin with.  (Or maybe how to not be such an uptight overachiever and just enjoy the stupor while it lasts.)

While I was growing up, going to school, every year marked a huge amount of learning and maturation.  In turned out that past age 18, when the government considers you a bona-fide adult, the massive amounts of yearly knowledge and wisdom gaining continues.   And it turns out that past twenty-one, past twenty-four, the learning continues.  I once a book about a family that took in a human-imprinted red-tailed hawk chick, who continued to improve her flying and hunting skills years after she had become a biological adult.  The continued acquisition of adult human skills must be similar.  Every single year that you are adult you learn how to be a better adult:  a better professional, a better friend, a more responsive and less argumentative spouse-like partner, a better parent, a better self-actualized happy person.  That's exciting.

In other news, Building Green has echoed my call for more cooperation among appraisers and lenders in the green building process, while, speaking of bank involvement, a large solar company has launched a large-scale residential solar installation that is the first project funded solely with private, rather than government money.  Financed by Bank of America, no less.

In rock climbing news, I had a series of awesome trips in which I pushed myself into climbing new routes that slowly move me past the terrified head space I often find myself in while lead climbing, and onto a place where I can be comfortable with levels of risk that are within my physical skill level to overcome.  When I hit my age-thirty-five midlife crisis, I'm certain I'll celebrate by living out of my car for six months and spending every day climbing here.

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