Compressed Into The Shape Of The Tube

This little nugget buried in a footnote to Paul Graham’s latest masterpiece on convincing investors:

Most people emerge from the tube of their upbringing in their early twenties compressed into the shape of the tube. Some find they have wings and start to spread them. But this takes a few years. In the beginning even they don’t know yet what they’re capable of.

I thought I had found my wings in my mid-twenties. I really didn’t find my wings until my mid-thirties. And I was raised in a house where I was constantly pressured to find my own wings, as it were. I can’t imagine how long it takes people who grow up in repressive households, abusive households, households riddled with drug abuse. No wonder we as humans are generally so screwed up.