Grateful For: Awkward 20s

I still try to sit at the kids’ table. I hope that never changes. But nowadays instead of being the cool uncle, I’ve got two of my own children staring back at me with big brown eyes.

It’s a strange season.

 

Everyone always said metabolism would slow down someday and little aches might creep in from left field. Maybe it’s the awkward strains of riding a small BMX bike for years or the falls that came with it, but those little pains have settled in my hips and my knees started doing this clicking thing. And 10PM feels like 3AM, lately. And sometimes a beer here or there splits my head like I drank 20.

I've discovered a lot of things I'm "good" at, but few where I'm "great". And I've been around long enough to be very aware of where I can fall short. Friends have come and gone. I have a career. There's a mortgage and taxes, insurance, so many freakin' diapers and so on. Most days I just want to go for a ride, sleep in a tent, or blast music like I did in a dorm before I had to worry about waking anyone up.

It’s surreal, like looking into your own life from above. 16, 21, college graduation, marriage, first kid, second kid – we’ve crossed off a lot of the big ones. I see college students and they seem so young all of a sudden, while the big 30 is just around the corner. Yet, this is it.

If I’m honest, some days it’s scary wondering what comes next. What mountains are left? Where's the next peak?

But maybe that's the wrong perspective.

All these years leading up to the last few I’ve been playing in the sand. I’ve been digging and building little castles that last for a time. But I’ve finally hit pay dirt. I think I’ve found some clay.

These awkward 20s are the start of the big show. It's a vital chapter. I’ve got the tools and experiences to really build something for my family and hopefully our community. I’ve not lost the innocence of youth, or the curiosity that fuels it, but I’ve also faced some of the harsh realities of responsibility and growing up. I think it’s here, somewhere in the middle, that boys become men and girls grow into women.

It’s here that we mold our clay and send it into the furnace of the world. To see if time, heat and pressure bake our foundations into something substantial or whether we’re sent back to the sandbox to dig deeper still.

So I’ll sit at the kids’ table and maybe I can tell them where to dig first.