Gonch's comment to my last post had me thinking about a tangent topic. Why does age and experience seem to put personality traits at odds?
There is so much research out there that indicates certain aspects of our personalities change with age, some for better, some for worse. I read a great article (maybe it was in Wired or Fast Company?) that indicated, after watching Baby Boomers reach their 60's, that the transition culminated in one particularly turbulent time that comes in the 40's (and speculating that it'd be the 50's for today's teens). The mid-life crisis, as defined by this article, was that people suddenly realize that they've let go of their ability to dream, be creative and cling to ideals, in favor of being realistic and practical. The result is a great deal of self-loathing that they've "sold out" or let themselves grow too far from their younger ideals. The article went on to say that this also was a source for resentment toward younger generations in the work place, but that's a topic for Gonch's blog. ;)
As this scenario relates to me, I think what I'm striving for is to have both. I want to be a dreamer, creative and idealistic, as well as realistic and practical. Being naive and stupid removes the constraints that would prevent most people from making serious mistakes, but it can also enable them to do really great things.
This is not a regret thing for me. I'm not self-loathing for feeling that I missed out on something or let go too much. My life has seen a great deal of chaos, especially these last three and a half years, but I'd never trade it in for what I've learned. It's true that joy is much sweeter when it can be contrasted with a great deal of pain.
So I declare the first well-defined characteristic of the J-Pizzie Lifestyle Manifesto:
"Leverage all that experience has brought to you, but always balance it with the hope and fear of limitless possibility."