A 25th Birthday Reflection

April 23rd, 2022

Wow, I'm old.

At least I feel old because the people I've been interacting with are all younger than me.

Up until you're a new grad, you always really only interact with people your age. From K-12, you're put into grades based on age, with a few exceptions. Even in college, it's rare for people to hang out with people not within a year of your age. Freshmen hangout with outher freshmen, they don't hangout with juniors. And seniors don't hangout with sophomores.

But, my hypothesis is that in the real world, age matter less and less.

There was this thing I read before that said the reason why time seems to move faster as you get older is because you're living 1/# of years of your life in each additional year. When you're 9, an additional year is 10% of the life you've lived thus far. Whereas when you turn 100, that previous year was only 1% of your total life. This theory sorta falls apart when you realize that your brain doesn't quite store memories equally. But more on that some other time.

I feel like it's the same reason why I think it's pointless to judge a 45 year old dating a 25 year old by saying when they were 20, their partner wasn't even born yet. In total, a 5 year old has felt like they've lived 100% + 50% + 33% + 25% + 20% = 228% (assuming perfect memory). A 10 year old has lived 1/1 + 1/2 + .... 1/10 = 292%. So if you do the math, the 10 year old has really only lived 28% more.

22 = 3.69 25 = 3.81. (3% increase from 22) 45 = 4.39, (15% increase from 25)

I'm not quite sure if this makes sense, but if you remember math from college, it's also know as the harmonic series.

Anyway, all this is to say that as people get older, age matters less–for the above reasons and most likely more. I doubt people are going to ask me how I feel as I turn 34 or that I'm going to feel much younger than somebody who's 36 vs. in high school I'd rarely talk to seniors as a sophomore. These age-defined boundaries just start to loosen up.

A few actual reflections:

  1. If you don't take actionable steps towards achieving goals that you used to have for yourself, it's easy to become complacent and forgot the motives, determination, and mindset that your past self had. I'm saying this because I remember the only goal I had from middle school and even until now was to become a billionaire. From senior year of high school until just recently, I had been grinding, optimizing every hour of every week. Obviously, the reason why my last few months haven't been as productive compared to before is because I barely had any fun/social interactions in the past two years, so my New Year's resolution was actually to just have more fun. So I guess I should feel good about doing that.
    Your brain becomes less plastic (I feel this). I used to want to reflect trip acid, change my opinions all the time. Now, I feel like I'm less about that. And I don't really have a desire to change that. It's as if what people say about your teens and early 20s being the most formative years are true. I'm experiencing this in realtime. It's a bit sad that I'm less starry eyed, but I guess that's just part of growing up.

  2. The next few years of my life will be torwards finally working on the dream of building my own business. The dream that I've had since I was in middle school and the dream that I wasn't ready to take on because I the second worst student in my grade in high school and had to rapidly improve myself until I started becoming the best in certain areas in college. But now, I'm more confident than ever, and I'm ready. I've primarily relied on my intellect and determination to get myself to this point. But now, I'm ready to see how far my social, writing, sales, and other soft skills can take me once those skills start. I'm bullish that these skills will take me even further, based on my experiences with people these past few months.

  3. Life is short. It can end at any time. I nearly died in a dream that I had a few days ago. It wasn't real, but felt as real as dreams always feel. It was a wake up call for me that I need to be working on something that I'm excited about. If whatever I'm doing isn't something that I'd be doing if it was my last day to live, I shouldn't be doing it. Obviously, this is easier said than done, but I will act on this in some way. I know it.

  4. Recently, it struck me as how strange it is to see your friends from college spending upwards of $500 on a single meal. We discuss caviar, uni, omakase, dolphin sperm (shirako), wagyu, kobe, like it's normal. Our parents never came close to this kind of luxury.

  • The first strange thing is that people in my circles are probably making more than any single ancestor of theirs that ever lived at the same age, possibly their entire lives. I have friends who just started their careers and are making more than their parents who have worked their entire lives, even accounting for inflation and relatively speaking to their local or global clusters.
  • The second strange thing is that we're basically experiencing luxuries that are at the top of the hierarchy. A $500 3 Michelin star meal is pretty much the highest you can go. Where do you go from there? Increase the number of times you go each week or month? If you're experiencing these kinds of luxuries in your 20s, how much more can you experience in your 30s and 40s?
  • And the final strangest thing is how normal this seems to be in my circles, unless you really think about it. Are we in a bubble? Is life going to continue to get better from here on out? Have we peaked? And if so, in what ways?
    I know for me at least, I'll always want more. Maybe I'll max out in terms of what I can spend my money on, but I'll want more for myself, for others, and for humanity.