But age and experience are masters at crushing enthusiasm and reminding you that you can't always beat the system. Now I am a cynic to a fault, although I have had many bouts of enthusiasm again over the years. These days I am far more laid back. There are things I know I cannot change and other things I wish I could but I just can't muster up the energy to jump up and down and scream about because I know it's not always possible to work the system. I do miss experiencing that passion. I am disappointingly submissive in many things these days although occasionally I can still get fired up.
I was reminded recently just how much that spark had gone out whilst chatting to a younger friend who is hopefully about to embark on her University career and knows what she wants to do and where she is going. She is driven and committed to her beliefs and her views which I find admirable. She reminds me of me in many ways.
When you're young, even up to the end of your University life, before you get bogged down by the 9 - 5, keeping a roof over your head and the triviality of every day life and the people in it, you think you can do anything. You study the subjects you love and have free time to indulge yourself. University may teach you some harsh lessons about 'the system' and post Uni will remind you that life is generally a game you have to play but you may not necessarily win. Of course, for some, it is. But for the majority of us, things generally aren't that easy.
And whilst the cynics around my friend during that conversation insisted that one day she would be 'just like us', a part of me didn't want to crush her ambitions. I want her to remain this strong and this committed to her beliefs all her life and I wanted her to be successful in all these things. After all without a generation of people with her attitude, where would we be?