E3, the Electronic Entertainment Expo, took place in Los Angeles this week. E3 is a trade show mainly focused on the video game industry. I was able to go to E3 a couple times and, as I saw all the highlights of the show, I wanted to be there again.
When I think about E3, though, my fondness isn’t just for the show but for that period of my life. I first went to E3 in 2002 – nine years ago. A lot has happened in my life in nine years. I graduated from college, I graduated from seminary, I began my career as a pastor and I married my amazing wife. Even though I like my life now, it’s hard not to remember all the good times I had nine years ago.
I was young, in college and living life with very few responsibilities.
The difference between my life then and my life now is best seen through Target. When I went to Target back then I would buy deodorant and whatever video game, movie or CD that I wanted. Now when I go to Target I buy toilet paper, hand soap, “girly” products and toothpaste. I don’t even bother walking by the electronics section because I know it will be too depressing.
So every year during E3 I reminisce about my life back then. I think about the way my life used to be and there are parts of me that wish I could go back to that fancy-free, DVD-filled life. Even though I was made for more than baby food, I sometimes feel like maturity is a burden; a burden that I gladly accepted and now wish I could get out from under.
But then I think of the alternative. I think about my old high school friends who didn’t accept the burden of maturity and are still buying whatever they want at Target. I think about how I would have missed out on my career and my wife had I not accepted that burden of maturity. And while maturity can be a burden, it’s also the key to the next phase of life.
Or maybe maturity isn’t a burden at all and I’m just thinking too much about turning 30 in three months. Or, more likely, I just wish I had been at E3 to see all the big game announcements and screw around with my friends.
How do you view maturity? As a burden or as a necessary step for development?