Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Passionately inspired by the "youth"

I'm working on something here at work, something we all have no clue about :)

That's the fun of working in business development - you're not expected to have all the answers.

Anyway, we thought of someone who was working in the same space we want to get into, but in a different industry and called him in to have a meeting with us.

Meeting one was more of a fact-finding mission but meeting two....

Well, that meeting was fabulous. I've become a bit jaded working in this space because everyone thinks they have the Next Big Business Idea and they don't.

I was SO inspired by this young man with such good business sense and fantastic ideas. And passion!

I even took some notes for my business!

He arrived with 3 of his business colleagues, all so young with not a wrinkle between them, and they were all so self-confident and sure of themselves, without being arrogant.

I loved it.

Yes, I felt like a granny as I'm sure I'm nearly double the age of most of them :) but LOVED interacting with them and learning from them.

Then something else came to mind.

When we were in PE in December, D went to see a movie one night and I stayed behind to babysit.

I had a shower and because I don't dry myself (I air dry - does anyone else do this), I sat around in my towel for about 20 minutes, flipping through the channels and came across the Ms South Africa pageant.

Now I generally don't watch this kind of fluff but it was the interview stages which is being done very naturally these days, out in an adventure setting, and also, I quite like to poke fun at the girls. I'm terrible but really, world peace?

So I was very pleasantly surprised by one of the girls.

She was studying in Cape Town (in my view, the city of friendly people) and was a greenie, but a good greenie. She was busy studying something to do with eco-friendly buildings (B.Sc Property Science - I have a feeling that if they'd had this kind of thing "in my day" I would have done it too) and had started a library of green books for primary school kids.

Well, this girl had passion and I was transfixed.

I used to be her!

When I was at Rhodes, I was a green activist in as much as you could do in 1992. In those days, it was a big deal to have a recyclable bag :)

This girl was passionate not only about green buildings and about the earth, but just about life.

I was like that - full of big dreams and changing the world, making a difference.

Okay, I still have that but it's been tempered with a good old dose of cynicism and reality.

But I sat there in the hotel, with my fluffy white towel, thinking about this girl, out there doing these things.

So what happened to us?

I know I'm not the only one who was like that at 18.

I also know life happens and we get on with it but don't you want some of that get up and go back?

Or don't you care about these things?

I told myself after that meeting with the first guy that I really need to remain open-minded and retain some youthful enthusiasm.

And remember that 18-year-old girl at Rhodes who thought she could do anything.

Because I still can.


  1. I blame life for bringing us down. To hell with my mortgage and responsibilites! Ok not really, I just won't let them bring me down anymore!!

    Can you be responsible, mature, and 'adult-like' while being care-free? That's a tough balancing act...

  2. Hahaha, I know what you mean - some days I just miss the attitude I used to wield around. It's probably better for everyone if I don't get in touch with ALL of that again - I used to be a bit of a terror, problem child even. ;-)

  3. I totally get it. When I was 18 I thought that I was invincible and that I would conquer the world. The thought may even have crossed my mind that I could be immortal...LOL
    I often wish that I could be that girl again. I know that she is somewhere within.

    Such a great question from Mandy - made me think long and hard:
    Can you be responsible, mature, and 'adult-like' while being care-free? That's a tough balancing act...

  4. ps...I don't air dry. I LOVE towels.

  5. Would also like to have some of that back....

    I also air dry. I don't know why or even when it started, it feels a sthough I have always done it.

  6. Mandy, great question - I think it's more an attitude of still going for IT (whatever IT may be for you) while keeping a healthy realism...

    Getting the invincible girl of 18 (as Julia says) out of hiding...

  7. I so agree with what Mandy asks and with your respond to her question. Now the question is to myself - how to do that?

  8. If you stop and think about it, we still have the passion we used to have when we were 18, it's just in directed in different areas. We worry about what our children are eating and our passion for our work. We also have that wisdom that makes us calmer about things, as we know they will get done without pushing so much.

  9. You air dry? I love it!

    I didn't really care about anything back then...then I got old and tired. End of story. ;)

  10. The more I read this the more I associate. Gosh, we need to get together.

    I did my thesis in 1992 on green buildings - kid you not. Today it is the buzzword - I was just a wee bit ahead of time.


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