I’m one of those people who hates to admit things. I hate admitting that I need help (to reach something on a high shelf or for a difficult problem I just can’t solve). I hate admitting that I’m wrong and that someone or something else is right (although I begrudgingly do). I hate admitting that I’m this that or the other thing.
But one thing I will admit to that I’ve realized in recent times is that truly learning some lessons just comes with age. Take, for example, the Washington D.C. field trip most 8th grade public school students take. (Or at least we did back in my day….)
I remember my 8th grade year fell just a few years after 9/11 so we were forced (ugh ugh ugh) to go to Colonial Williamsburg for one day and Washington D.C. for two, instead of three, days. I remember Williamsburg being okay (old stuff…snooooze) and Washington D.C. being “cool” because…well, I grew up in the country for the most part and this was the city. I was even selected a 1 in 4 students who got to lay a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Solider.
Looking back on all of that now, as an “adult” I’m KICKING myself that I didn’t appreciate it more when I was there! (Although I have been fortunate enough to travel back to D.C. both in college and last year on vacation). I would be OVER THE MOON to go to Colonial Williamsburg now! And the two days we spent in D.C. I could easily spend in the Smithsonian alone.
But as a child I just don’t think you appreciate those kinds of things the same way you do as an adult. You just can’t. You’re too young. (A phrase I never though I’d utter until I was 110 years old).
It’s the same with many life lessons though. Perhaps you learn something as a young child but you don’t understand it or appreciate it until you’re an adult. Or even when you’re an adult there’s still so much to learn. You don’t truly know what it means to love until you, well, love someone. You don’t understand the meaning of hard work until you have to work hard. You don’t realize how expensive things are until you have to pay for them.
You get my point. We’re all both young and naive and old and wise at the same time.
What an amazing thing.