April 23, 2012

What You Want

Filed under: Shut the Hell Up!,What the hell?,Youth Rights — Katrina @ 9:39 am

Now for an ageist, condescending edition of…


Anyone who says either “you’re too young to know what you want yet” or “you’re too young to know who you are yet”. Seriously, you just really really need to be shot.

Who the hell are you to say that to anyone? Okay, even if said person-younger-and-therefore-stupider-than-you does in fact not know what he/she wants or whatever, whatever the hell that even means, you know who knows this even less than they do? YOU, dumbass!

It’s a typical silencing and invalidation technique towards young people, an excuse to belittle absolutely any life choices they make by convincing them they are incapable of making sound choices and as such they’ll definitely regret it in like a week. I mean, it’s a terrific way to instill life-halting insecurities and uncertainties into people, making them feel they are never “ready” to do anything, but hey, at least they aren’t making personal decisions that, even though such decisions don’t involve you in any way, make you personally uncomfortable because you just have to pry into their lives, right?

Besides, a richer life is one where to make decisions and see the good and the bad as a result of them, not one where you abstain from everything because an older “wiser” person told you to.

Also, such sayings buy into the idea that once you are an adult, you do have everything figured out and always make the right choices and always know what you want. I’m nearly 29 and I can’t say any of that is true of me. I mean, I believe the “Wear Sunscreen” piece even say “don’t worry if you don’t know what you want to do with your life, most people at 22 don’t know what they want to do with their lives, some of the most interesting 40-year-olds I know still don’t.”

Every goal is subject to change, no matter how old you are when you set them. Perspectives change. Situations change. Ideas change. Certainly youth get told this all the time, but what they are rarely told is that the changing nature of these things doesn’t stop at a certain age. You’ll be 60 and have changing ideas still, even different from those when you were 40. You’ll never stop evolving as long as you’re alive and have a sufficiently working brain. Why would you want life otherwise?

I mean, it’s a risk, too. When it comes to choosing a career or getting married or buying a house or any other long-term choices, there can be pause to think that maybe things will change in a few years and this choice will no longer feel right. But that’s unavoidable unless you want to go through life pretty much never making any choices. The right thing is to make choices anyway as best you can, and do try to think about what might change later (though a nearly impossible feat due to humans’ inability to see the future), and of course always be mindful that things could change and be ready to change with them should that happen.

And, of course, making choices is how life happens and life experience is gained. Which makes statements like “you’re too young to know what you want (so don’t make any choices yet)” all the more astoundingly stupid. The speaker is not only belittling your judgment as being immature but wants to make sure you stay that way forever.


  1. I like this piece. There are comments now, Katrina. No sad. 🙂

    Comment by Kathleen O'Neal — April 23, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

  2. If I comment, will you be DOUBLE not sad??? 😀

    Comment by wedway — January 29, 2013 @ 12:27 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Sorry, the comment form is closed. Go away.

Powered by WordPress