From the Experts
Today I got a nice confirmation that we here at the broom factory aren’t just stroking our egos cause we were fool hardy enough to get married young.
My wife and I love to watch TED videos on all kinds of topics (the one about mosquito killing laser turrets is beyond cool) and she found one yesterday that echoes the Skipping Bachelorhood’s theme of intentionally pursuing responsibility and personal growth. In this talk presented by Meg Jay we hear the thesis of her book The Defining Decade. She states that even though cultural norms have shifted so that the responsibilities of marriage, kids, and a career are assumed later in life, that does not mean “your 20s are not a throwaway decade […but rather] the most transformative — and defining — period of our adult lives.” She then presents three pieces of practical advice for how twentysomethings can re-claim their adulthood in the face of a culture that panders to those who want to linger in an extended adolescence.
I agree with everything she had to say, except about when it’s a good time to get married. I think everything she said about your twenties could and should be said about one’s teens as well. If teens took her advice, they’d be much more ready in their twenties for the responsibilities that she reserves for one’s thirties. Perhaps she doesn’t think teens can handle that much responsibility, but that is exactly what everyone else in the world is saying about those in their twenties. I can personally attest that when my mom almost died from complications of her pregnancy and was on bed rest for months, my younger sister and I, both in our early teens, grow up a lot, and fast, as the hardships of our life at that time demanded that we assume more responsibility than ever before. We cooked, we cleaned, we took care of our younger siblings, I helped my father fix our car, worked in the family business, and did my school, and I didn’t have a social activity beyond Sunday morning church for about six months. I survived, and eventually, thrived. So for any parents that are reading, don’t worry about your kids getting in over their heads: it is the best way to learn.
Jay’s speech is thought provoking and very well delivered so invest in yourself by watching it and then be challenged to do more with your life.