Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Well,

today is my 21st birthday.

Normally, I wouldn't really care so much, its just another birthday. BUT, this world has really placed quite an importance on this arbitrary hurdle of an age.

As you all know, 21 is the legal drinking age. I don't really know why they picked 21 as the age. Over in europe, alcohol is commonly accepted as a household item and consumed by families- yes, children as well. Best part about that is, there are less people that abuse it over there. Less law, more control- makes you wonder sometimes about, if we put so many restrictions on ourselves, that we'll just figure out ways to break them, instead of letting the people restrict themselves out of common sense. Take the autobahn for instance... freeways in germany with no speed limits. they have about 150 accidents a year. I-90 has thousands of accidents a year, with a stringent speed limit ranging from 60 to 70. Interesting.

On this fair occassion, I am now legally allowed to drink. Well, seeing as my co-workers have been asking me to drink (good naturedly, of course) for the last two years, I decided to kind of humor them on this occassion. Its kind of a comraderie thing- they want to socialize and make me feel like part of the group, and unfortunately that means being accepted by drinking. Sad...

Well, I had a drink that was some sprite and some vanilla vokda, and it was actually not too bad. It was a very small drink, and I made sure to eat a full meal before hand so it didn't really affect me. And I kept it at one drink... not really interested in finding out the finer points of being "buzzed" or "drunk." Theres no value in embarassing yourself or the people around you and hurting yourself. Its amazing how thats just common sense thinking, yet no one thinks it anymore. That I see, anyway.

So, hopefully they feel like they've "initiated" me now, and they'll stop bugging me to drink, since the hype around it has dissipated. I guess I feel a little liberated being 21 years old, because all my life I've had to combat the communative thinking that age is a huge detractor to knowledge and skill. For as far back as I can remember, there have been people telling me that I'm too young, too inexperienced to do things. I think I've pretty much proven everyone wrong, to be honest. I have vivid rememberences of teachers, other kids, adults in my church, all chiding me for messing with something that I would "just break." To be honest, I did break a few things as I'd learn more and more, but... in every instance I can remember, God has really brought me success. I struggled with that age mentality quite a lot. I remember several times crying in my room at night, because I felt so worthless, all because of admonition from people that applied the stereotypical child mentality to me. It was also quite liberating when I built my first computer without any help, or when I passed my first certification. Or when I secured my position as an instructor for Microsoft Technology. And of course, lastly, securing my positions within Microsoft. If it wasn't for those huge successes that God has brought me through, I don't know if I would have had the heart to struggle through the trials. I must say, most of the pressure came from my peers who always felt threatened by my success. I'll leave that one alone. :) My parents gave me great encouragement as soon as I started showing lots of positive motivation, but before that... I can remember times where my mom would tell me that I'm the most unmotivated person she'd ever seen, and it frustrated her. Instead of motivating me, it just hurt me, and I guess I never felt unmotivated. Just not motivated in the direction she wanted. :) I was busy saving for the latest speakers or accomplishing a crazy feat in a super hard computer game, or writing a piece of code that would shut my computer down at 12:30am. It just wasn't outwardly visible, I suppose.

Well thats my supposition about being 21 so far, not more than 16 hours into it. :)

1 comment:

Kat said...

Interesting comments and musings here on "reaching adulthood." I like reading your thoughts. I have some thoughts as well.

One thing I've determined through my own life is that everyone in my own circle of influence (either being influenced by me, or influencing me) is relegated to making comments, judgements, and profering tidbits of wisdom and advice based on what they see; it's all they have to go by unless they have other information from which to draw from. So, when I get frustrated by their judgments I have to decide if it's someone I want to open up more to so that they have the information they need to improve their views. Many times I find it not worth the effort because they are only acquaintances or someone I wouldn't probably take advice from anyway. But for people very important to me, I usually will try to put the time, energy, and effort, sometimes repeatedly, into cultivating them so they can profer more relavant advice.

How does this fit in with your age-defying discussion? Well, what people saw most prevalently, was your age. What others saw was your quiet, low-key approach. Little did we know that a brilliant mind was a-spinning in there! We may not have seen much physical activity on the outward, but there was sure plenty of cranial activity!

So, apologize I must. I didn't see motivation on the outward on things that mattered to me (understand my focus on this piece here): chores, homework, etc. But you know what? Deep down I had a strong belief that you would turn out to be a great young man. One full of promise, strength of character, and most of all a heart for God. And guess what?

You did.