This is the thing: When you hit 28 or 30, everything begins to divide. You can see very clearly two kinds of people. On one side, people who have used their 20s to learn and grow, to find … themselves and their dreams, people who know what works and what doesn’t, who have pushed through to become real live adults. Then there’s the other kind, who are hanging onto college, or high school even, with all their might. They’ve stayed in jobs they hate, because they’re too scared to get another one. They’ve stayed with men or women who are good but not great, because they don’t want to be lonely. They mean to develop intimate friendships, they mean to stop drinking like life is one big frat party. But they don’t do those things, so they live in an extended adolescence, no closer to adulthood than when they graduated. Don’t be like that. Don’t get stuck. Move, travel, take a class, take a risk. There is a season for wildness and a season for settledness, and this is neither. This season is about becoming. Don’t lose yourself at happy hour, but don’t lose yourself on the corporate ladder either. Stop every once in a while and go out to coffee or climb in bed with your journal.

Ask yourself some good questions like: “Am I proud of the life I’m living? What have I tried this month? Do the people I’m spending time with give me life, or make me feel small? Is there any brokenness in my life that’s keeping me from moving forward?”

Now is your time. Walk closely with people you love, and with people who believe. Life is a grand adventure. Don’t get stuck in the past, and don’t try to fast-forward yourself into a future you haven’t yet earned. Give today all the love and intensity and courage you can, and keep traveling honestly along life’s path.

—  Relevant magazine

anonymous asked:

I've got a quick question - in my novel, I have two characters who end up together in a romantic sense at the end of the story. They're a great couple - they work well together and balance out some of their negative characteristics. The only problem is that one is 18 and the other is 27. I'll clarify that the 18 year old has been through hell in her life and is in some ways more mature than the 27 year old, but I know some might find their relationship squicky. Is that too big of an age gap?

I get it. Young people are young, stereotypically naive and immature. Their brains may not even be fully developed yet. How could they ever be attracted to someone older than them? And old people are old, stereotypically world-wise and nostalgic. How could they ever be attracted to someone younger than them? 

There are cultural differences between the two generations to consider. There are experiences the elder has had that the younger has yet to even know exist in their future. There is an intensity of feeling, as if the fire burns brightest for them, the younger has that the elder may have nearly forgotten. How could the elder ever look at the younger and not see a child? How could the younger ever look at the elder and not see an authority figure? How could this ever work?

I get it.

My partner and I have a ten-year difference between us. Trust me, I understand the issue. Even as I near the age of my partner when we first met, I look back at people the age I was and cringe. I must have been especially awesome, because people that age are derps all.  

But the more ages I’ve been in my life, the more I’ve realized that people of every age are derps. We’re all just trying to get through it, and many of us are glad to have company along the way. If you can find companionship, kinship, friendship, love, whatever with another person, it’s hard to let that go because of an age difference. 

Is it ideal? Maybe not, but it’s what you’ve got. It’s working out okay for my partner and I. Maybe it’ll work out okay for your characters.

I’m sure other writers will weigh in on this hot-button topic! Be sure to check the notes for their comments as well!

Thanks for your question!


(This response refers to relationships between consenting adults only. Pedophilia is “considered a paraphilia, an ‘abnormal or unnatural attraction.’ Pedophilia is defined as the fantasy or act of sexual activity with prepubescent children.” [x] It is a psychiatric disorder and does not fall into the scope of this post. )

only five, yet she closed her eyes, and prayed for the day she’d be old enough to leave this town.
when she is seven she prays to God that somehow her life will work out.
only ten, but she whispered to herself, asking when the loneliness would end.
she is twelve when she begins to doubt that God ever heard her prayers at the start.
only fifteen, and she’s lost her first love, and all she wants is to forget and grow up.
now she’s twenty, and starting to regret, why didn’t she wish harder, why was she a mess?
when she is thirty, she will fall in love, and begins to realize that life is not slow enough.
at thirty five she has a child, and she feels complete, as spring comes all the flowers smell sweet.
she will be forty when her daughter is five, singing tales of happiness, and feeding her pretty lies.
three years pass and the father has not called, and her daughter is rarely at home, almost never there at all.
seven years go by in the blink of eye, sleepless nights and tired goodbyes.
now she is fifty, and her daughter is gone, ran away with a boy with a leather jacket and a gun.
she suddenly wonders what it felt like to be young.
soon she will be seventy, and she will be alone.
she’ll wonder where all the time did go.
and then she will be eighty, on her deathbed, her daughter by her side, crying tears of regret.
and the son of her daughter will smile at her, holding her hand, quite unsure.
and in her final breaths, she will smile weakly, and choking on the words to her grandson she will say,
“stay young, my dear, for growing up is bittersweet.”