Man, I feel young here.
It’s unnerving how perceptions can flip so rapidly. This time last year, I felt like I’d completely outgrown Whitman. I knew the town, I knew the nooks and crannies of campus, I had my friend group which consisted mostly of graduates. I was pretty bored of Whitman.
And now, here, I’m the youngest teacher at school. I keep getting comments from the other staff about how “naive” I am, and how I’ll “understand x when I get older.” Try me. The other teachers also smoke and drink heavily while frequently commenting on the fact that I don’t smoke and I only drink moderately. My habits apparently back up this naivete I somehow display. When did drinking and smoking equal maturity?
My group of friends here consists of teachers in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties. And I’m 22. But until now, 22 didn’t seem so, SO young. The others look more to me like a little sister to take under their wing than a friend with whom to have a conversation. I get a lot of “are you okay?” and “are you sure you’re okay?” While it’s quite nice to know that people care, I’m not incapable. I’m not fragile. And I’m not naive.
Well, sure, I’m naive about a lot of things. But I have a hell of a lot more experience and knowledge than these people are giving me credit for.
One thought on “Oh, You’re Just a BABY!”
“I’m not incapable’ – check; “I’m not fragile” – check; “I’m not naive” + “well, sure, I’m naive about a lot of things” – check. You seem to have your head on straight so far as I can see. We are all naive and ignorant, just on different subjects. But we can learn and adapt as well. And in my experience you are better at it than most. You are also correct in observing that drinking and smoking do not equal maturity. Seems to me that they often illustrate the opposite, at least the drinking to excess, but that’s just my opinion. I feel quite safe in believing that you will be more capable, less fragile, less naive, and more mature at the end of your year in Kurdistan. I, too, will meet all these criteria at the end of your year there. Life is like that. And remember: for those “special” moments. there is always “Now ain’t that nice!”! Love ya!
Oh, with the possible exception of the very privileged ( many of whom were born on third and think they hit a triple), we all have more knowledge and experience that we’re generally given credit for. That’s part of life, and we are all guilty of making the same assumption at one time or another.