Over the weekend, while berry picking, Beth and I were pontificating the Shepard Street House. We reflected fondly that it was the perfect “20-year old house” and quietly considered what happened to our youthful optimism of our 20s as it gave way to increasing cynicism of our 30s.
It’s not that we’re particularly unhopeful about the future, but we certainly don’t have the drive say petitioners have in regards to believing how quickly we could change the world. For example, the single protest in which I participated was a wonderful experience, but a few short years after that protest I realized that I would rather attempt to change things from within, from within the machine, the system, the institution. Not that I believe it to be the best, perhaps, way for change, but because overall we are slow to learn and slow to change so change must come within the institutions.
I find myself looking more cynically towards things that 10 years ago I may have interpreted as “signs” pointing me in one direction or another. I find myself more cautious of those I would like to fraternize, no longer as needy as I was 10 years ago. I figured out that I prefer the Rolling Stones over the Beatles and that spicy food, while tasty, is something I can only handle in slight moderation. I still like red wine, but I’ve moved on (quickly thank God) from white zinfandel.
I’ve always been a cautious, quiet person, but lately I have found that I appreciate more thinking before I speak. I’ll be called out on this I’m sure when my sister reads this. Pondering and digesting rather than spouting off an opinion, as I may have been quicker to do 10 years ago.
It’s interesting what a decade brings. I was searching for love 10 years ago with no thought that I’d ever be a parent and wondering when I’d finish school. 10 years have gone by and now I’m married with one adorable kiddo and a B.A. (finally!) under my belt. It makes me wonder what another 10 years will do. Will I fall into more cynicism, or will I see a rebound of that youthful optimism that drove me so passionately when I was slightly younger?