So this post is brought to you by a year older Sam. Yep, I turned 22 on the 14th. Hence why my favorite number is 14 and this year rocks (granted, if we’re speaking in relative terms, it doesn’t have to do a heck of a lot to beat 2013) But anyways…I think we’ve all heard the phrase “with age comes wisdom” at some point in time. I always used to simply take that at face value. I felt as though the people older then me sure seemed to have more wisdom than I did, even the Costco toilet paper obsessed ones. And heck, I still feel that way. But I don’t think “with age comes wisdom” is entirely true. I’m sitting here, as I always am (ha, sorry…bad joke) an entire year older, not feeling like I’ve gained very much wisdom.
However, I have gained something else—life experiences.
If you would have asked 21-year-old Sam the things she expected to experience before she became 22-year-old Sam, she would have been pretty confident in her answer. She would have said things like, she expected to graduate college with her degree, she expected to get married, she expected to start vet school, she expected to be happily residing in an apartment in MN with her new husband. Obviously my last year of life experiences was drastically different than I had expected, it sure is funny how life turns out…
Instead, I’ve experienced an entire new way of life as the way I do almost everything, from showering to how I move around, is different. I’ve experienced love and support from places I never would have expected, being able to learn how important relationships are and the people you decide to surround yourself with. I’ve experienced the strongest emotions I’ve ever felt before. Anger at the situation, fear of maybe never becoming independent again, sadness for all that I’ve lost. Yea, those are negative emotions, and they were certainly present but not all encompassing. For I’ve also experienced extreme joy in my accomplishments that ranged from putting on my own pants for the first time in two months to doing everything but drive without help. I’ve experienced life to have now developed an indescribable passion for the world of people dealing with spinal cord injuries. And I’ve experienced a never ending desire to make a difference.
I’ve been able to spend more time with the family I’ve been so very blessed with, experiencing the ups and downs of all of this together. It could be a rant session where I let out my frustration of dealing with people who see me as helpless and like half a person. It could be shared tears over the stress of different aspects of this whole ordeal. But it could also be something new to laugh at, like the look on my older sister’s face as she asks, “wait, you put what, where?!” and throws her hands up in the air saying her new catch phrase “I teach band.” It could be heading out to that band teacher’s school and see her direct her awesome pep band as Dad plays along on his bass guitar.
I think through the experiences one has in their life, they can indeed gain wisdom. So, I guess the phrase “with age comes wisdom” does have some merits. But you know, I don’t think that’s always the case. Sometimes, you don’t allow yourself to learn from the experiences of your life. You may push those trying to tell you something away. You may angrily slam a door or hang up a phone call in disgust instead of listening. Sometimes you may not allow yourself to simply sit and reflect on a painful experience to actually learn from it.
Everyone experiences different things in different ways, and you’ll never know if that “different” could help you out in a rough spot unless you pause to hear about it.
So maybe wisdom comes with age.
But age always comes with new life experiences.