Sunday, December 14, 2008

Our Most Valuable Natural Resource

I have to be honest. I almost didn't contribute to this month's APLS carnival. Because, well, the topic is about how children are our most important natural resource. And, well ... I just didn't know what to say. Because, I don't have children, and I guess, more importantly, it's weird for me to talk about children being the future, when I barely feel like an adult myself most days. As I emailed Green Bean, I'm in college, for crap's sake. Guys, I'm in classes with the future. And the future? Is getting drunk and hitting on me.

I've been listening a lot to the musical Avenue Q. There's a song, in particular, that sticks to me: "I Wish I Could Go Back to College." It ends with the following lyrics: "But if I were to go back to college, Think what a loser I'd be-I'd walk through the quad, And think "Oh my God...These kids are so much younger than me."

Yeah. That's my life lately. Hanging out with people younger than me ... some of them over ten years younger than me. And it's rough sometimes. Especially when people find out how old I am. I seriously had a girl say to me, "Wow, I hope I look as good as you do when I get to be your age."

Well, gee, THANKS. As an old lady, I deeply appreciate that.

It sucks sometimes to feel older than everyone else. It's not easy spending so much time with people who don't remember the fall of the Berlin Wall because they were two. Sometimes I wonder what the hell I'm doing. Or why I'm doing this now. Sometimes I feel like I'm too old to be in school and making no money.

But then there are the days when I'm reminded that with a little bit of age comes quite a bit of wisdom. Classwork comes easier for me than it should. I can confidently express my opinion to anyone. Blogging has made me a better writer and taught me how to form a cogent argument. My years of reading Hollywood scripts have prepared me to critically analyze an academic paper. And after writing a whole damn novel, well ... let's just say a 40 page dissertation seems like a cake walk.

At those times, I realize that though I have lived a circuitous life, I wouldn't change it for the world. Because every single experience I've had has helped get me where I am today.

So you know what? Screw it. Are the children our future? Sure, but you know what? So are you. Every single one of you. I don't care if you are six or if you are 72. We are all the future. And if I can quit a job I loved, leave a city that was home, and move halfway around the world on a leap of faith, you can take a leap of faith too.

I promise you.

Are kids a valuable resource? Damn straight they are. But know what else is a valuable resource? Maybe even more valuable for those scars and stretch marks?


So do it people. Live life. Every day. Reach for your dreams. Don't let the idea that you're too old stop you.

Because, know what?

You ain't.


Farmer's Daughter said...

I hear you about "looking good for an old lady." Haha. Last week at parent conferences, a mom said "Awww, is this your first year teaching?" I mumbled, "Oh, no, it's my 6th." I'm sure someday I'll take it as a compliment.

I agree, follow your dreams. Although I haven't moved across the country, I have recently gone back to grad school. Fortunately, in my field, there are lots of old people to hang around with!!!

Stephanie said...

I like the way you think.

Green Bean said...

Aha! I knew you could do it. :) Awesome post - love that you turned it around to remind us how important we all are.

Anonymous said...

Ruchi, great post! I knew you wouldn't be at a loss of something to say! And you make a great point in that we all share in tomorrow and can make a difference!

Thanks for participating in this month's carnival!

Anonymous said...

From someone who is almost twice your age and still learning a lot all the time - thank you very much for this blog. I can also sympathize with how you feel being back in school with people younger than you. I went back to finish my business degree when I was thirty, and I was a much better student than I had been when I dropped out at twenty, but I felt like a fish out of water - an old fish at that. Then I went back again when I was 42(!) for fun to get another batchelor degree, this time in art. The kids were half my age( and just a couple years older than my own daughter), but it seemed a lot less important than it had twelve years before. And I had a wonderful time. Thanks again for an inspiring blog.

Kelly S. said...

I think taking the years to do theatre before law school helped me immeasurably. In undergrad I was a mediocre student with little intrest in classes outside my major. Law school...i was interested and motivated, and I did all my homeowrk. I'm sure it was because I was older, and had made the choice to go to law school, I was footing the bill, and I was going to use my time as wisely as I could manage. I would never have done as well as I did without the break and the other career...Law professors just don't scare you after crazy directors, and actors, and designers have been demanding the world for the last few years... congrats on enjoying grad school and ignore the young-ins, they're just jealous that you've done so much with your life. :)

Cath@VWXYNot? said...

Um, you wrote a novel? I demand to know more!

Great post by the way! I didn't contribute this time because I couldn't really see how to stick to the topic as a voluntarily child-free person, but you found a great solution to that problem!

Anonymous said...

30 is so the new 20, remember that :)

BTW, what is your novel about?

Anonymous said...

Ha! I almost didn't contribute to this one either, and when I did, it turned out to be a rant about how I don't do what I do with the future in mind but with right now in mind all the time. Right now.

So anyway, right now I have to go make some pumpkin pecan risotto to take to a work holiday party tomorrow. So good night. Just wanted to give you cheers for the way you always speak up.

Anonymous said...

Nice! As a dancer, I get this all the time: "...I always wanted to be a dancer..." Well, do it. Now. Today. People dance until they're super-old and there are all kinds of people out there re-defining what a dancer can be. The same applies for everything, just like you said.

Age is so relative! As a dancer, you're supposed to be young. As an artist, your good work isn't supposed to come until late. I guess I never got hung up on it because my mom got her Master's when she was 45 and her best friend got her PhD when she was 55. And I didn't go to college until I was good n' ready. I might feel differently, though, when I start again next fall!

Happy Holidays!

ScienceMama said...

Always gotta bring up the stretch marks, huh?

By the way, you are not f'ing old. You are a damn dirty liar. Because if you're old, I'm old, and that's just too depressing to face.

So suck it up, young lady.

ruchi said...

Abbie, I'm glad someone else feels my pain!!

Stephanie, thanks!!

GB, well thanks for the hand holding while I whined. :)

GGM, you're welcome, and thanks for putting the carnival together.

Mary, you're welcome and congrats on going for your dreams. :)

Kel, you're totally right.

Cath, I swear I've mentioned this before!! Yes, I wrote a cheezy chick lit novel and then never bothered to try and publish it. But I've been reading it a little over break and ... it's not terrible. Maybe I should think about publishing.

Cindy, it's about a 24 year old Indian casting associate searching for love in LA. Like I said, cheezy chick lit.

Beth, thanks!

Megan, hah hah, when I was writing this post, I almost thought of adding a caveat like, unless you want to be a dancer or an ice skater in which case you might be too old. Good thing I didn't write that!! :) I am not too old to be a dancer, but I am too uncoordinated. Ah well.

ScienceMama, you're safe lady. As we both are keenly aware, I am older than you. ;)

Anonymous said...

I like your thoughts.