Feeling old today.

10 Mar

Have you ever had a very distinct moment, where nothing major happens, but you internalize it and realize that have officially become an adult?  Since graduating college, I’ve had several of these “ah-ha” moments, which you could also classify as “uh-oh” moments – depending on how you look at it.  I look at them differently depending on my mood… perhaps I’m not such a grown-up after all? 🙂 

I have had moments of clarity regarding my clothing, sleeping habits, eating habits, housing choices, decorating styles, etc.  However, it wasn’t until today that I had one of these moments in relation to my career.  In an airport Subway, I settled in with my 6-inch turkey and provolone with light mayo and red wine vinegar (I told you my food habits had become more adult through the years).  A few bites into my baked Lays potato chips, I realized that I was sitting closely to two graduate students.  Now – I’m fairly young in my career – and these students could have been older than me in all fairness if they were grad students, but they really made me feel old today.  I did not like it.

They were chatting about what topics their professors approved for their upcoming dissertation.  One was talking about the ground-breaking research he’s done within male-female relationships.  His hypothesis was that when one person gets let down enough he or she will eventually just give up and walk away regardless of how strongly they feel about one other.  WOW – is this guy the first person to ever realize that?  HA – he just made me laugh.

The second of the two is the one who aged me though.  His earth-shattering idea was so new to him and his friend that they talked about it for almost 30 minutes.  And how he was bound to get an A  just for conceiving the idea.  The idea – that motivation can come in other forms than money depending on the situation and personality of an individual.  I almost jotted down a list of management books by title and author that he could site as research for his book and write his year-long dissertation for him over my airport lunch!

Trust me, I am no genius.  Today’s events just made me realize how little I actually learned in college, and that what I know and use every day didn’t come from a classroom.  In this case, it is experience that made me grow up.  It really does make an amazing difference being  in the “real world” of Corporate America vs. living in the sheltered academia for 5 years.  Another sad realization that I really am grown up.

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