The Formative Years

Recently I had a conversation with my Pops. I was telling him about a concert I just attended and we started sharing our favorite songs from the band. I mean, when your dad likes the same music as you, how do you not bond over such greatness?? I mentioned “ahh, 90s rock and the formative years” and he replied with “you don’t have to be young to have formative years.”

His response stuck with me…obviously, because that was over a week ago. And it got my brain juices flowing. I started reflecting back on the “formative years” and what I learned, discovered, and tolerated in the world. I started comparing those years with my current years and the contrast of built upon lessons, new discoveries, and (now) intolerances. I continue to learn – which I believe is essential – and I continue to discover. I have reshaped what I will and will not tolerate. I have grown, clearly.

When I think of “formative years” I think of teenage and young adulthood. Of course this age range may differ from person-to-person, but what I think is the most important question to ask yourself is when the time you felt most alive was? When did you feel the most naïve and most vulnerable? When did you learn the most? With those questions you should be able to pinpoint your own formative years. And with any luck, you’ll realize that your formative years are not – and should not be – restrained to one phase of your life. Allow yourself to relish in new lessons, discoveries, and growth.

Let yourself continue to form.

I certainly have multiple formative years and I hope you do too. As I keep typing ‘formative years’ I keep imagining Kevin, Paul, and Winnie from The Wonder Years and now the theme song is stuck in my head. So as a thanks to Pops for another life lesson, I’ll leave you with the theme song “With a Little Help from my Friends,” only it’s an updated cover of a cover from a classic (originally written/performed by The Beatles in 1967, then covered by infamous Joe Cocker one year later, which became the anthem of Woodstock in 1978, and now brought to you by Joe Anderson & Jim Strugess…isn’t music trivia fun?!).

I hope he (and you!) likes it 🙂

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