The Truth Board

A Blog by the Editors of
The Truth About the Fact: An International Journal of Literary Nonfiction

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Location: Los Angeles, California, United States

The Truth About the Fact: A Journal of Literary Nonfiction is an international journal committed to the idea that excellence in the art of letters can play a vital role in transforming the planet we share.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Older and Wiser

Two days ago I celebrated my twenty-fifth birthday and I can’t decide whether to look at it as five years to thirty or half way to fifty. Either way, I am finding it difficult to reconcile my youthful features (most would guess I’m eighteen, at best) and the constant presence of my inner child with the reality that is my age. Many say “age is just a number” and while that may be true, I cannot help but feel the pressure to conform to what society expects of a twenty-five-year-old, and by those standards I’ve got a long way to go. But while I may not be in the midst of a budding career (yet) or starting a family (yet), that isn’t to say that I haven’t learned a lot in my quarter-of-a-life.

For one thing, and perhaps the most important, I’ve learned to surround myself with genuine personalities. These people include my family members, my boyfriend of six years, and friends who have not failed to provide me with the love, support, encouragement, inspiration and the constructive criticism that have helped me on my journey to become the best person I can (reasonably) be.

I have learned through trial and error that I am not perfect, the world does not, in fact, revolve around me and that efforts to ever be entirely perfect are futile, but points are definitely given for trying. I’ve found that the relationships I cherish most are with those who have accepted, even verbally acknowledged, my flaws and have worked with me to improve upon them not only for myself but for the betterment of those around me, most importantly for the sake of the younger siblings for whom I hope to serve as a role model.

In my seven years of collegiate schooling I have experienced well the phrase “to each his own”, as I have often struggled with the length of my tenure, especially when peers from high school were graduating from their respective universities just as I was transferring from junior college to a four year institution. I realize now, however, that my path was simply a different one and without having taken it I would not have made the friends who are now so important to me, nor met the man I hope to spend the rest of my life with. Having entered a four year, and much more expensive, school so “late” in my young adulthood, has afforded me a deeper respect for my education, my peers, and my own ability to succeed.

Working jobs in fields as varied as retail, assisting a film composer, and journalism, each presenting their own obstacles and frustrations, I have found that I, that we as individuals, are entitled to choose our own happiness. My experiences have inspired me to find a career that makes me happy, whatever the paycheck, whatever the task, and I have attempted to impart this particular wisdom to my peers, so many of whom have unenthusiastically looked on their pending graduation in expectation of it leading to an unfulfilling ever-after.

While I don’t know what it is about birthdays, especially those considered to be milestones, that elicits profound pondering and reflection on one’s life, I am glad to say I can look back on mine with no regrets, only lessons learned. I am a firm believer in life lessons and their ability to transform experiences and will be looking forward to what I have to learn in the years to come.

-- Heather Maupin


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