Reading this morning in preparation for a Rolfing session, the following passage stuck out at me.
Youth is not a state to be preserved but a state to be transcended. Youth has strength, but it does not have skill, which, in the long run, is the most potent strength. Youth has speed, but it does not have efficiency, which, in the long run, is the only effective way of obtaining goals. Youth is quick, but it is not deliberate, and deliberation is the only way to make correct decisions. Youth has energy and intelligence, but it does not have the judgment necessary to make the best use of that energy and intelligence. Measured judgment in the end, is the only guarantor of intelligent behavior.
Youth has the beauty of genetic endowment, but it does not have the beauty of real achievement. Youth has the glow of promise, but it does not have the radiance of accomplishment. Youth is a time of seeding and cultivation, but it is not a time of fruiting and harvest. Youth is a state of ignorance and innocence, but it is not a state of knowledge and wisdom. Youth is a state of emptiness awaiting fullness, a state of possibility awaiting actualization, a state of beginning awaiting transcendence.
In short, youth is a state to be put behind us as we grow taller and deeper and fuller... an explosive yearning to grow taller and deeper and fuller and transcend oneself.
(from the book Somatics by Thomas Hanna)
I have identified so long with being the young person, the small one, the little sister among my older (and largely male) friends and colleagues, that this is the sort of thing that I still struggle with. It is possible to be less experienced but still an adult, maturing but already somewhat mature; cognizant of how much farther one has to go but still recognizing how far one has come. And people have been trying to tell me, and it's true: I have come quite far already, and I should recognize and build on that instead of starting forever from scratch as a tabula rasa (while still maintaining that beginner's mind and that open readiness).
It may be time to ratchet down the things I'm doing, gradually, so that I have time to think and breathe again. (Challenge: don't get restless and bored.) Thank goodness summer's on the way.