“Age-related skill remorse.” It’s a rather gibberish, babbly phrase, I know.
What do I mean by it? That as we get older our skills decrease in line with our fading cognitive and atrophying muscles?
Not really. I’m trying to grow past my habit of pointing out things that are too obvious.
That as we get older we regret all the useless skills we have picked up in our lifetime, like how to wiggle our ears and pick up pens with our chins (Yes, I can do that)?
I couldn’t quite come up with an accurate, tight package of words concise enough to be a title, but what I’m trying to highlight is a regret that most people past their 20th birthday experience — that they didn’t start working on a hobby or skill early enough.
I’ve gone through my fair share of that. Wished I started editing films earlier. Wished I started writing earlier. Wished I picked up CGI or programming in high school. Wished I began my martial arts journey earlier. Et cetera.
There’s no need to remind me that these ruminations are futile. I’ve just started to realize that aside from the fact that going back in time is physically impossible, I was a different person when I was younger, with different aspirations, dispositions, and affinities.
Lord, what would my high school self think about training in martial arts? I would think that it was stupid, risking head injury, ringworm, staph infections and the like to work on a skill that isn’t instantly useful in a services economy powered by white-collar desk jobs.
Programming and CGI? I have to remind myself that I took a cursory stab at them years back and just didn’t have the patience to keep on chugging at them. Patience was only something that I picked up more of later on.
Shit…just happens. You can’t overthink the journey. And ultimately, we can rest contently in the fact that through our different journeys, we will eventually arrive at our respective destinations of skills, hobbies, and disciplines — and find a Mothership community greater than ourselves that we can belong to.
That some people can find their life-long affiliations at 15, 16, or younger yet, 12, 8, fucking 3, is a probabilistic miracle. Through all the perspective-altering events and epiphanies that people experience in their adolescence, these inveterate Acolytes either have to maintain a relatively constant personhood or change in such a way that they grow to like what their parents have funneled them into (cause fuck if anyone discovers something independently when they are an incapable toddler).