What do you think happens to us as we get older? It is thought that when we age we become stubborn, tired, and cranky. It’s believed that we lose our creativity to the hustle and bustle of the real world. As our naiveté slips away from us and the hole left behind is slowly filled with a cold trickling realism, we wonder if we’re the same person we were when we blew out our candles on our 10th birthday. And to that I say yes.
What I don’t believe is that people completely change. We are a stone. This is our capacity to handle life. The environment around the stone – the raging waters, the howling winds, the intense pressures and fires – is life. The elements don’t completely break the stone – hopefully – but they do weather it to a specific shape, and no two stones are the same. Each has its own shape, texture, roughness, markings, etc.
If you ask me, everyone goes through the same transition but at different speeds. It’s when we get our first tastes of the “real world” that we start to adapt to different troubles and prepare for larger worries. Our plans start to incorporate longer roads with steeper slopes, and we’re just getting the hang of driving. This time is the driver’s ed of life, and I believe it’s pretty crucial.
When we get older, we’re still the same rock. Chemically, we didn’t change, but, physically, our exposure to an ever-changing environment at the whim of the elements is what shaped us. For example, a pebble that sinks to the bottom of a stream is rounded smoothly to cope with the flow of the rushing water. A rock in the fiery pits of a volcano is burned and charred. And, sometimes, someone comes along and strikes a pick axe into you, leaving an gapping crack that no amount of polish or cement will fix.
We obviously show our age when we get older. We bear the signs of our carving, but on the inside we’re still composed of the same minerals. In terms of humanity, when we get older we become more set in our ways. Our liquid personality congeals, and the things we thought were funny when we were 18 are still just as funny. Our humor cements and we perfect our punchlines.
Life is the refinery that we all go through as coal and hopefully come out of the other side as diamonds.