We mellow with age. As we get older, the realities of life hit us in deeper and deeper ways, until we become beaten up into vapid, innocuous pulp, incapable of being or doing anything remarkably individual. A little bit of us dies every time we fall, a little more at each dead end – a life, intact and original in the beginning, accelerating into entropy as we step into adulthood. The brazen sharpness of youth gets blunted, giving way to the inexorable proceedings of conformation and ultimately subservience to a larger whole.

There is something I fear, that the thoughts and opinions I hold now will be slowly eroded as life washes over me. Slowly, we stop dreaming for and working towards a 3000 pound marlin, opting instead for 10 trout at a time. This is about the ideals we formulate during youth as a function of our environment, the ideals that we hold dear to us now, crystalizing into a gem that we carefully guard in our hearts. Nothing lasts forever, not even these ideals, which you think are so personal as to not be vulnerable to any external influence. But in the end they are all susceptible. Think about what you yearn for, deep down. The things that you care about the most. This pristine gem which you are so fond of may eventually lose its translucence, be gouged upon or even utterly destroyed. Circumstances change, and with that, so does our perception of this gem, as the conditions once favorable for its hatching cease to exist. When that happens, where we find ourselves in a different position as a different self (recall “No man steps into the same river twice”, Heraclitus), we may look at this little stone and declare it as a product of the vanity and folly of adolescence, discarding it into the landfill we are making of our lives.

At this moment, I dread these prospects. But fast forward 30 or 40 years. My older self will have ideals of her own, ideals that may be very different from mine (let’s treat me and her as separate identities), because they will be the product of an additional set of experience and circumstance. In retrospect, she may not lament the loss of insistence on her younger ideals, because she does not see them as ideals anymore.

Change of perspective. Objectively speaking, it may be a good thing, but nonetheless that’s what I fear.