It is always a good idea to leave your comfort zone, zip code, generation, cultural norm… anywhere that makes you see the world through a lens that is too similar to your own. Homogeneity breeds tunnelvision.
Like most, I socialize with people who are within my age-group and life stage, give or take 10 years. Most people do, I suppose. But this weekend I had the delightful experience of having 2 meals with a combination of 6 20-somethings, all in different stages of launching. The fact that they are among my favorite people on earth made it even better. Oh and 3 of them were blood relatives, the other 3 being the next best thing.
Listening to their plans, goals, opportunities… their exuberance, their joy, their energy… it was all so inspiring. And refreshing. And made me not only remember what life was like at that age, but to look back and realize what a wild ride it has been since then. They all genuinely respect our opinions, look to us as sounding boards. They have crossed over from the know-it-all teens to respectful young adults who want input. Not a single one had that millennial attitude that we hear all too often.
They are all still fresh, unspoiled. They have not yet been burnt or battered. But they will be at some point, everyone gets some piece of life’s not so pretty parts. But I am confident they will all take it with grace. They are built that way. I have seen each one of them navigate some tough things this past year and they all rose to the occasion.
We live in exciting times. I am envious of the climate that allows them to start their careers when so much is possible. Creating a business from scratch is not only possible, but the initial outlay of cash is minimal and access to funding a reality (think kickstarter, etsy, quirky, angel investors). These 6 are all so very different. Their career paths are equally different. Perhaps that is what makes the energy between them so exciting.
For now, it was simply lovely to be in their presence. To feel them shine. To bask in their opportunities. To be proud and inspired at the same time.
Next weekend? Sky diving? (probably not)