Some rare days, I’m quite productive. Earlier this week I went to work and contributed my thoughts and talents to the greater Thrivent good, and then I went home to drop off my dry cleaning, go grocery shopping, clean my room, and pay a dental bill. And then I rewarded myself for showing some initiative by watched the Bachelorette.
First, if you would like to understand why I watch this show, I will refer you to this post as it explains my feelings about the entire Bachelor(ette) franchise. And let’s not fool ourselves by pretending you don’t “occasionally” watch guilty pleasure trashy TV.
To acquaint the audience with the contestants on the Bachelorette (and undoubtedly force them into a subtle yet undeniable emotional connection to one contestant over another), the show’s producers regularly flash the name and age of each contestant being interviewed during their regular video diary session. At the beginning of the season, when viewers are still trying in vain to recognize any of the multitudes of faces on the show, the producers also display the occupation of each contestant.
This season of the Bachelorette introduced us to “One F” Jef Holm, who is vying for backwoods hoodrat Bachelorette Emily Maynard’s heart with a powerful hipster combination of skinny jeans, skateboard skills and a killer bouffant. A few years ago Jef founded his own social enterprise, People Water, which provides clean water to one person in need for every bottle of People Water sold. Jef is 27 and actively working to change the world.I find this depressing. Some days it’s very difficult for me to do simple things like brush my teeth or change out of my pajamas or crawl out of bed to eat lunch. But I have the rest of my life ahead of me to make a name for myself and my pajamas are more comfortable than business casual anyway.
Apparently, however, there are many people – I’m looking at you One F Jef – who get off on achieving big at a young age. And to them I say, with only the smallest amount of envy: hats off.
5 notably accomplished young people:
- Tatum O’Neil is the youngest person ever to win a competitive Academy Award, having received the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1974 at the age of 10. By the time she was 23, O’Neil had been involved with 8 film productions.
- Blaise Pascal discovered Pascal’s Theorem in 1639, at the age of 16. When he was 23, Pascal was busy conducting experiments with barrels to establish Pascal’s Law, also known as the principle of transmission of fluid-pressure.
- William “Willie” Johnston is the youngest American to receive a Medal of Honor, earning the award in 1862 when he was cited as the only drummer boy to bring his instrument off the battlefield during the Seven Days Battles. Johnston was 11 at the time of the citation and 13 when he was presented with the Medal.
- Joan of Arc played a folkloric role in aiding the French army to victory during the 1428-29 siege of Orléans, when she was about 17. This historic triumph paved the way for the July 1429 coronation of Charles VII. Two years later, at the age of 19, Joan was burned at the stake for heresy.
- Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart“penned” his first musical composition, Andante in C for Keyboard, in early 1761, when he was 5. The piece was notated by his father, given his youth. At the age of 23, Mozart had composed over 300 of his eventual 626 musical works.
5 people whose accomplishments at the age of 23 represent the stuff my dreams are made of:
- Orson Welles directed, narrated and starred in the infamous radio broadcast War of the Worlds, terrifying millions of listeners and landing him the cover of the May 9th, 1938 edition of Time – 3 days after his 23rd birthday.
- Alexander Pope published one of his earliest poems, An Essay on Criticism, at the age of 23. The poem includes two still-famous lines: “Fools rush in where angels fear to tread”, and “To err is human, to forgive is divine”. Behind Shakespeare and Tennyson, Pope is the third-most frequently quoted writer in The Oxford Dictionary of Quotations.
- Jane Austen had written initial or final drafts of three novels by the time she was 23 – including her two arguably most famous works, Sense and Sensibility (published in 1811) and Pride and Prejudice (published in 1813).
- Jack Nicklaus is a professional golfer who won his first Masters Tournament in 1963 at the age of 23. Nicklaus holds the record for the most Masters won (claiming victory a total of six times) and for being the oldest winner of a Masters when he was 46.
- Isabella I of Castille ascended to the Spanish throne of Castile and León in 1474 when she was 23. Along with her husband, Fedinand II, Isabella would go down in history for completing the reconquistaof the Iberian Peninsula from the Muslim kingdoms collectively known as Al-Andalus and for financing Christopher Colombus’ famous 1492 voyage.
And for your pleasure, here are 10 modern-day 23 year olds who are more famous than you and I will ever be:
- Julianne Hough, dancer… and country music singer? And actress? Really Wikipedia? (born July 20th, 1988)
- Princess Beatrice of York, royal and first female in the line of succession…but fifth overall for the crown (born August 8th, 1988)
- Rupert Grint, Ron Weasley…er, actor (born August 24th, 1988)
- Candice Swanepoel, Victoria’s Secret model, like whatevs (born October 20th, 1988)
- Emma Stone, my personal favorite young actress(born November 6th, 1988 – one day before me, which puts my life in dismal perspective)
- Hayley Williams, lead singer of Paramore (born December 27th, 1988)
- Elizabeth Olsen, actress and apparently related to the more famous Olsen twins (born February 16th 1989)
- Chord Overstreet, trouty-mouth Gleek (born February 17th, 1989)
- Chris Brown, singer on many peoples’ shit list (born May 5th, 1989)
- Christopher Mintz-Plasse, only known as McLovin (born June 20th, 1989)