With Age, Comes Wisdom… Right?

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I’m not old, and I’m not saying I am.  But I really don’t feel my age.  I have friends who are all different ages, including two who are still in their mid-20s.  I really do sometimes forget my age.  And then sometimes I’m reminded, and I have to laugh.

I have a 25-year-old friend who knows EVERYTHING.  He’s smart and makes good arguments.  So good, that I sometimes find myself wanting to believe what he’s saying, even when I know he’s not right.  As I listened to him say something the other day in that arrogant so-sure-I’m-right tone, I realized that I was listening to my 25 year-old-self.

I was really annoying.

Don’t get me wrong; I’m still a know-it-all.  But I’m able to keep my mouth firmly closed and my opinions to myself on occasion.  That’s what happens as you get older, I guess.  You learn that not every pearl of wisdom that enters your head needs to be shared with the world.

And that they’re not all pearls.

A long time ago, I remember reading that Dean Koontz hated some of his early novels and let them go out of print.  That he didn’t want them re-issued because he didn’t like them.  I thought he was crazy!  Why not let your early works be re-published?  If people want to read them, they can’t be bad.

With age comes wisdom.  I get it now.

I look at some of the stuff I wrote in my 20s and cringe.  I wasn’t a bad writer.  In fact, for school papers and stuff like that, I was way above average.  So much so that I thought my fiction writing must be exemplary as well.

It wasn’t.  At all.  Really.

I had an immature writing style, and yes, I have some things published online that I wish I could go back and edit, because they’re not as good as they could be.  But the thing is, that I believe that throughout our lives, we should constantly strive for improvement.  Perfection doesn’t exist, so all any of us can hope to do is be a little better today than we were yesterday.  As long as I’m striving for improvement, my writing will never be as good today as it will be tomorrow, and so on.  I can’t just keep going back and changing what I wrote; when would it end?

I enjoy writing.  Most of the time, it’s fun.  My goal is to keep it fresh and fun, and to write for myself first.  Maybe I won’t like what I wrote in the past; maybe I’ll see all the flaws.  But you know, I don’t think that matters.  Yeah, I was annoying at 25, but I wasn’t boring.  And as well all know, friends, boring is about the worst thing I can imagine being. I have great affection for my 25 year old self (even if I would sort of like to go back and slap her.)

So I’m older and wiser, and in another 10 years, I wonder what I’ll think of what I wrote today.

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