Boat builders do more than dream…
A political and administrative shift and department transfers left me in a stupor. I had just been at the peak of job satisfaction. I was hurting, but didn’t want my hurt and irritation to become poison to myself, or toxic to anyone else. I kept quiet and took time to myself. After a few days while in deep contemplation I took a deep breath. I stepped back, searching for perspective. I realized that I was experiencing a form of trauma. I needed some time “away.”
I switched to night shift to avoid the distractions of or involvement in day to day office drama and politics. It was like taking a sabbatical, except I knew I wasn’t coming back to my previous position. I determined to wait a full year before drawing any conclusions or making any definitive decisions about my future. I was on a new path.
On night shift I immediately connected with a part-time employee in his twenties, known to his fellow workers as “BK.” It was as if the universe or angels deliberately placed us in just the right place at the right time to make that connection. I remember that moment vividly. Having been through recent traumatic life changing events himself, he was the perfect mentor for me, and I for him, shaking out our emotions, and gaining clarity, confidence and purpose in our lives. We listened to and learned from each other and reported our concerns, goals and purposes as we continued to find and solidify our purpose and direction. We observed and admired each other’s work habits and integrity. Each of us has since moved on, and we still check up on each other, reporting our goals and accomplishments. More importantly, our ongoing friendship continues to benefit us together.
I soon realized that, in addition to BK, I was abundantly blessed to be surrounded by “twenty-somethings.” I found so many of them to be filled with energy, hope and enthusiasm. Yet at the same time I also saw disappointment, confusion about the present and future, and an unfortunate lack of confidence in some.
One day a twenty-five-year-old asked me what I was going to do at that time in my life. Spontaneously I said, “I feel like I’m twenty-five again.” In my mind I traveled back to a specific moment in contemplation at age twenty-five. Each of those mirrored moments profoundly impacted my life and where I am today. For the last six years I’ve been actively searching for and finding my twenty-five. I continue to consciously observe, research and experience a melding of generations in successful people all around me.
No generation stands alone, whether past, present or future. “Twenty-five” is symbolic of the abundant blessings and attributes of all generations. It is a point in life of natural peak performance in mind, body, and spirit. This abundance of vitality often passes unrecognized at age twenty-five. Societal tendencies bring us to think that if we missed the boat at twenty-five that we are forever stuck on the dock, watching other boats go by.
Boat builders do more than dream, they build more boats. The reality is that adding to twenty-five the experience and perspective of older and younger generations creates endless possibilities as we all work together.