Thursday, March 3, 2011

Life stages

Conception, life, death.

This is how short the story of one’s life can be. I did not start with birth, because it all begins a little earlier than that.

But of course I will not post such a short version of life stages. I will elaborate a bit.

Infancy: innocence and immaculate beauty, vulnerability and strong dependence on one’s parents (or some other responsible person…), full trust, unconditional love, definitely more than 5 senses – actually the entire body is one big sensitive receptor.

Childhood: a bit of innocence, a bit of cunningness, a bit of genuineness; big chunk of curiosity and courage, difficulty to understand that there is a link between cause and effect, lack of experience, all kinds of fears - but also fearlessness, vulnerability and dependence, unconditional trust, complete or shy loving, great expectations and big disappointments, healthy crying, incredible dedication, determination (stubborness?), nightmares and sweet dreams haunting the nights, demons and knights, princess and fairies, tales and adventures, friends and traitors, idols and villains, poetry and music, painting and sports,… but also envy and frustration, hatred and wickedness.

I have to stop because there are other stages to cover also… you got the picture. The endless possibilities of future development that we have in front of us in childhood are not replicated in any other life stage. This is why the first years of education are the most important for defining our future minds and souls, modeling our characters for going forward.

Puberty: a bit of childhood blended with high level of insecurity (in relation to your body, your soul, your personality, your purpose in life, your family, your friends, your… everything!), stormy hormones, accelerated development of gossip skills, passionate love and hate abbilities, admiration and envy, daily life-crisis and multiple world-endings.

Teenage-period: a bit of puberty blended with high dosage of unconsciousness and unlimited potential for self-destruction, sensibility (sometime close to paranoia), strange temptation for ruining the rest of your (otherwise potentially promising…) life cycles.

Maturity phase 1: the responsible survivors of the previous periods. Perhaps it is just an opinion, but I feel that in order to qualify as “mature”, you must overcome somehow the teenager phase. That very second when you realize and assume the basic responsibilities in your life, you have became a mature person. In this phase a lot of material and spiritual things come your way – status, experience, disappointment, love, family, confidence, wisdom, empathy, power, satisfaction, friends, relationships, happiness, sense of futility, self-fulfillment, despair, self-sufficiency, goodness, boredom, enemies, divorce, money, loss, gain, beauty, illness, recognition, respect, trust, betrayal, and … again I need to stop, because I would have to quote the whole Dex in here.

Middle-age: that period of one’s life when, while being of course a mature responsible person, one reaches the conclusion that some part of the pre-maturity phase was lost to him/her and decides it is still the time to try it. The strange temptation for ruining the rest of your life cycle comes back, sometimes stronger than in the teenage period.

Maturity phase 2: survivors of middle-age stage, that means maturity phase 1 enriched with experience coming after lessons learned in the middle-age.

‘Old-aged’: that period when your body and your soul are no longer aligned – one part of you wants to fly, the other part is strangely but strongly glued down to Earth. In this period you have enough know-how, wisdom and (most important!) will to do almost everything in this world, you would be willing to try every day some new things, but… have to settle with reading (if your eyes still listen to you), watching others do their own mistakes (and if you are lucky, you have some younger people listen to you before they do as they consider best anyway). Also with a bit of luck, this phase is not followed by innocence before the cycle closes for good.

Now… just a few more lines before I leave you, to go on with your individual life cycles.

If you were asked to distribute the above stages on a person’s lifeline, how would you do it?

One way would be to adhere to the standard social distribution, according to age: 1-> 3 -> 14 -> 18/21 -> 35 -> 45 -> 55/60 -> […] (last one depending on your personal negotiation skills in relationship to The Almighty). Of course there could be variations, like the famous "middle-age crisis period for male subjects" - between 3 and 83 years of age...

Anyway, I don’t like this distribution very much. It may fit a large part of the population but, it does not fit my life and neither it fits many of my friends.

Until about 14, I believe we all stay more or less in the standard distribution. Then glimpses of different stages start to mix somehow naturally in our day-to-day life. We find ourselves assuming great responsibility, feeling powerful and determined in one context. But then, sometimes the same day, we feel feeble and unsecure in another context. Fearless but then prudent, loving but then punishing, getting up old and wise in the morning, turning childish and adventurous in the evening (or the other way around). We teach one day a hard lesson, while the next day we enjoy playing like a child. We get hurt in a middle-age crisis one day, and then the next day we fall in love all over again, like teenagers.

And... that is exactly the good news. World-ends and new beginnings are possible all over our lifetime. There is never only one right time for something. Not only one time to play, one time to love, one time to learn, one time to suffer, one time to fear and one time to hope. We just need to gracefully embrace ourselves at any moment, in any of these stages. As we cannot travel back in time, we would better enjoy travelling through it!

And this is my wish for you today - enjoy your innocence, childhood, puberty, teenage-period, maturity, middle-age crisis and old-age! Every day!

Georgina Popescu


  1. Hm... I won't say that some people get stuck in one stage of one’s life cycle, but I will definitely say that some people grow up but they never mature... maybe because they react always in the same way at the same events, no matter their age... let’s take the example of an earthquake: I am a six y.o. and I am frightened, very frightened and I’m allowed to show it, I never think that I could control myself... next earthquake, same person, only he is now 36 and has a 4 y.o. son. He is still shaken, inside-out, but he has to control himself, he’s a grownup. Well, some do, some don’t. The earthquake may be, of course, any event in our lives. This one was the kind you cannot avoid... other events may be anticipated and... yes, avoided... maybe because some people prefer not to get involve in anything, not to go through experiences which may change their lives, because they are afraid... because they prefer reading and writing instead of living. And the best or the bad thing about this is they live under the impression that they are wise and mature, just because they can think about situations they never experienced, they can imagine things the way they are, they are “objective” and clear-headed, because they are not really involved in a life situation. They are always eager to give advice, because they know the ultimate truth. Haven’t you noticed that people with the biggest real-life experience are the most silent ones, rarely give advice, but kindly ask other people to think of all aspects of a situation they are going through? They offer new perspectives, but never advice? It is like in the professional life: students have lots of theoretical knowledge, but zero experience, they can talk about work but cannot yet do it properly... they may be students all their lives... experienced people rarely talk about their work but know exactly how to do it. Teachers know how to teach, writers know how to write, musicians know how to sing/write music, and of course some people know how to live their lives in this world, better or worse, but their own.
    All these being said, I wish you live a wonderful life, wherever it is taking you!

  2. Thank you Anonymous, interesting thoughts. I agree with you - some people get stuck in one stage or another. Some are even happy like this and I would not judge them too hard, because some of these stages can create addiction. :)

    About advice: I think it is dangerous to give - someone might take it seriously! It is always better just to help the person see as many alternatives as possible, but then decide for him/heself.