I went to observe kids in a new school that my children are potentially going to attend next year. As I sat and watched these little 4 & 5 year olds soak up all this knowledge, my mind began to race.
Toddlers…know so little. Every day, they are almost forced to learn at least something. Shapes and colors, numbers and letters. Every day growing. Every day gaining knowledge. That goes on for the better part of a childhood.
You learn and learn until one day, you feel like you have all the answers. Until you feel like you know pretty much everything.
When I was in the 7th grade, I felt like I knew everything. I know it sounds funny now…a kid so young, but I really felt like I got it at that point. I didn’t need my parents, at least not in my opinion. It’s not like it is with kids today, where everything is scheduled. Where parents always know where you are. I would walk out of the house in the morning and not return until dinner. Play the whole day. I made my own breakfast. I made my own lunch. Did my own laundry. I could do pretty much anything, except drive. And don’t tell anyone, but I tried that a couple of times…
When I turned 17, I really knew everything. I looked back to when I was in the 7th grade, and me thinking I knew everything then…was laughable. I now knew who I was. I knew that big things were in store for me and my life. And I had an idea of what they were. I was smarter than most grown people. Would live a better life than them. I got the way the world worked, but I wasn’t too concerned with that, because everyone was looking at me all the time. And I had to deal with that.
When I turned 22, I realized how foolish I’d been. How I actually did not know one thing when I was 17. And now after being on my own for four years in college, I knew what was what. I understood the world. The way it worked. And why it was broken. And I told people that. I really finally knew who I was. And what I wanted to do with my life.
When I turned 25, I realized how foolish I’d been when I was 22. I wasn’t out on my own in college. I was protected by administrators. And fake campus police. I now paid rent. Paid real taxes. Now finally understood how the world really worked. I had switched my dream career 4 times since college. But now, I knew exactly what I wanted to do with my life. I knew exactly where I was going to end up. I knew exactly who I was. I realized that I would never get married and liked that fact.
I look back today…as I type this…I realize how foolish I was when I was 25. I knew so little of the world. So little about life. So little about myself. So little of what I thought I knew was accurate. Zero of where I thought I would end up in this world has come true. And the funny part is, I don’t want any of those things to come true. They are trivial. They are shallow. Or they are just not who I am anymore.
I am now older, and I realize that I know a few things. The first is that I know very little. The second is that life will throw me the unexpected. And the third is that I know I will change.
I learn every day, like an infant. Soaking up as many new things as I can, whenever I get the opportunity. I love to learn and have the rest of my days to do that.
I am an infant. I’ve always been an infant. And if I live long enough, maybe I’ll become a toddler. And I am good with that.