I’m old(ish) and the knowledge that comes with age (I won’t say wisdom) would – should – be appreciated by youth. Except I remember, vaguely, youth, and my dad was a fucking idiot back then. Not so much now.

So. Sharing seems pointless. Especially since those young’uns who would deign to listen probably don’t need advice. And, reality check time, most advice is a waste of time. Life is largely situationally specific and the things that helped me probably won’t help you. But there is an overriding lesson I wish I’d learned some 40 years ago.

Be you.

Simples, right?

The amount of energy I spent trying to be someone cooler or smarter or sexier (shudder) or whatever than me could heat a small town in the dead of a prairie winter’s night. Wasted energy, because nobody has figured out how to harness teen angst. And, honesty being the currency of today, that teen angst wore well into many decades after those teen times. In fact, the “be you” sensibility, for me, isn’t much more than 10 years old. If that.

I don’t have a lot of confidence that any youth I know will heed this. Fronting a persona that makes you “better” is the default position for most. And it’s so fucking stupid. I still run into people in the office who are trying to be something they’re not. Too much effort. Too much energy wasted on that when you could be using that energy to succeed in whatever you’re doing.

So, youngsters and oldies alike, stop trying so fucking hard. Relax into yourself. Be you. It’s a hell of a lot easier, and we’ll probably like you better for it.

Unless you’re an asshole. Try not to be that.

About the author: tonymcfadden

Since Tony McFadden left Canada two decades ago he and his wife and two children have lived in the US Virgin Islands, various American cities (LA, Ft. Lauderdale, Atlanta, Fairfax), Singapore, Malaysia, Taiwan and now, finally (and for good), Australia. All of those places and people have provided a wealth of characters and settings for his books, all filled with thrills, suspense and adventure.

2 Comments

  1. Not so much now ?????

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