There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age." -Sophia Loren
Hello world! If you are new, welcome to the Luminstruct blog! My name is Mark and I am currently working on a "365-Word Project" by posting reflections on various words...Today's word is "Age".
The summer season is here once more and now that the dust is beginning to settle from the chaos of hall closings, I can find the time in my schedule to bring back some of my passions: writing, working in my backyard, and working on this website. It is my hope to lay out some new material for this site over the next few months and I couldn't be more excited!
I do find the humor in the fact that there has been over a year and a half of downtime since my last blog posting about the word "Missing". In many ways that is a perfect summation of these past few years. Being a new professional in my field while also being the director of a housing department has been an amazing and rewarding journey, but the time has simply become a blur in my mind with everything being so fast-paced. Every day I feel as though I am learning something new and I'm excited to see what my future has in store for me.
Being a young professional while also being in a position which is traditionally held by individuals sometime twice my age can be tough. Although I was qualified for this position based on my schooling and work experiences, there is still a good amount of learning on the job and need for support from peer institutions in order to gain the knowledge necessary to successfully run the department. Although we have had a very successful two years and our department has grown and developed at such an amazing pace, many times students, staff and even peers can see my age as a hindrance from doing my job. Sometimes I need to try twice as hard to earn the respect needed for my position with my given age.
The idea of "Age" is a weird concept for me, in many ways I feel as if I am the male depiction of the Britney Spear's song, "I'm Not a Girl, Not Yet a Woman". Although she sang this when she was 21 years old, I still find myself in a similar situation at the age of 27. Every year there are less students who call me "Mark" and more students who call me "Mr. Jestel, sometimes there are students who aren't sure which block to place me in and just use my full name. Although I do not mind what they call me (as long as it isn't some kind of profanity), there is a change occurring.
The change involved when you "become an adult" can take many forms. For some of my friends, it involved getting a dog, getting married, or even having a child. For others, it involved lifestyle changes (sleep schedules, eating patterns, or even changing mannerisms or the way they dress). Some cling onto "old behaviors" as long as they can by increasing various vices, surrounding themselves with younger people, or staying with the same friends they have always known, but fighting it or not, we all change with time. It can be scary and we may not be ready for it, but someday we all will be seen as "old". It is however within our power how others see us. Two of my grandfathers died this past year and although both of them were in their late 80s, I would still say they were remarkably young hearted and spirited for their age.
We all change with time, even my viewpoint of this topic may change after writing this post. I currently believe, however, that the way to "act your age" is to never have your passion nor your desire to learn fade, to see the love and support around you, and to make a conscious decision of what kind of adult you want to be and how that will define you. Only then will you go from being a child into being an adult. Best wishes everyone and goodnight.
Question time: How do you "Act Your Age"?