Questions that put our lives into perspective have always intrigued me, as they are always a good tool for reflection.

Whenever I approach these questions, they usually come as a way to compile what I had learned up to a given point. I would ask myself, “what have I learned so far?”, then write down whatever came. It is usually a personal exercise rather than an invitation for others to participate in.

Why am I requesting wisdom for 35ers?
Be sure to check Wisdom for 35ers, in case you missed the release!

Lately, though, I’ve become aware of how little I actually know. Maybe there’s a newfound sense of humility as I approach my mid-30s, but the truth is that I find myself less certain than ever.

This is unexpected, given how much effort I’ve put into the “knowing-myself” game since my late 20’s. I’d even say it is because of this self-exploration, by giving light to the vastness of what I don’t know, that now I have much more questions than before.

During my 20’s, I expected uncertainty. Barely out of teenage years, the world was relatively small and there was plenty of room to grow. But at my 30’s — the age I remember my parents being when I was a kid — realizing that not just me, but many others my age, still battle with this uncertainty, is baffling.

From the basics of life to the more nuanced understandings of the world — those whom I thought knew, didn’t really know. We’re all in a constant process of discovery. Maybe, I wonder, we can only know something when looking back at it.

This mindset is what inspired this year’s birthday project, Wisdom for 35ers.

Dealing with the unknown

By asking others who have arrived here before me, “what would you have liked to know when you were 35?”, I’m opening an opportunity to ponder upon the things that might have served them at this age.

I’m more curious about what experience has shown to be valuable over time, through trial and error, rather than what could be claimed as “learned” via pure mental gymnastics.

My hope is that this question will prompt people to picture themselves at this age and share whatever knowledge they wish they had back then — insights that might be helpful for me and others in a similar stage of life.

A gallery of wisdom

Some time after June 16 2024, I will publish a gallery in my website showcasing all the answers I get from this exercise, so that others can also benefit from them.

Of course, this wouldn’t be possible without participants, so if you are above 35 and are willing to share your wisdom with the rest of us, fill the form in this page.

Also, for those not meeting these requirements but still wanting to participate, share the link to the form with anyone you think might be a good fit.

I’m looking forward to read what comes out of this!

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