I looked, but I couldn’t find it. But it went something like this. Apologies for butchering it. “A man is a radical in his teens, a liberal in his twenties, and a conservative in his thirties.” Put very crudely, the progression is from someone who is motivated by ideology, to someone concerned with maintaining the status quo.
I’m in my mid-twenties. It’s the age at which life begins to take hold. Girlfriend and boyfriend become man and wife. A relationship blossoms into a family. A home is no longer a connection you have to a particular place, but something that you actually own. A job is not just a job. It’s part of a career. It’s when you begin to get serious about things that were just a joke a few years ago. It’s also the age at which people start to separate.
See, when you’re young, you have dreams and ambitions. There are things you want to do. There are things you can do because you’re more willing to take risks and make sacrifices. But as you age, the cost of these behaviours increases. Some individuals don’t want to continue down that path. Others do. And neither is better than the other.
It’s an interesting to witness how people navigate the choice between persistence and adaptation. And the choice is forced upon you, because as you get older, the cost of sacrifice increases. The desire for stability and the pressure to conform intensify.
It’s hard to define what love is. Any poet will tell you that. But a good way to figure out how much you love something is to ask yourself, “how much will I sacrifice for it?” That’s the battle you fight as you age. It’s easy to love when you’re young, because there’s nothing on the line. But when you’re older? When you’re foregoing a family, a home, friends? That’s harder.