Adulthood

Truth - Life is complicated and life is simple. Life is a constant struggle to figure it all out. What's the meaning of life? What is our purpose? What are we meant to do here? Does any of this matter, are those questions irrelevant, and are we significant in any meaningful way? The further we go in life the more we have to wonder what it's all about. Does anyone know? Is it the same for everyone? What am I like this , and how did I end up here?

"I am convinced that most people do not grow up...We marry and dare to have children and call that growing up. I think what we do is mostly grow old. We carry accumulation of years in our bodies, and on our faces, but generally our real selves, the children inside, are innocent and shy as magnolias." Maya Angelou

What am I doing with my life? There's that question that creeps up and threatens to strangle you in its clutches of  existential dread from time to time. It's that meta moment where you are painfull self aware that you are in fact a person with autonomy and consistently must decide what to do. It's everything from deciding how long to swish your mouthwash, to deciphering ambiguous text messages, and pondering the interest accruing on your student loans. Sometimes it just hits you like a runaway freight train on course to crash into the station in a glorious kaboom of the most fantastic proportions. The weight of it all. The responsibility of taking care of yourself, bring a functioning member of society, and contributing in some meaningful way - it can be overwhelming. That wave of  impending doom is soon followed by its sinister sibling of nihilistic inaction. If it's all too much, then what's the point of doing anything. If I'm only able to do a little bit; why does the minuscule impact matter? What if I'm doing it all wrong; wouldn't it be better to do nothing at all? It can be so easy to get lost in your own thoughts, tag teamed by the tumultuous twins of torturous trepidation. Fear, it always comes back to fear. I am afraid I am making mistakes. I am afraid I am not where or who I'm supposed to be. I am worried that I am stuck with no way out. Then all of a sudden, those feelings are gone and I'm back to being back on the go - no longer struck immobile. That is adulthood.

Adulthood is playing the most extensive game of pretend ever initiated. Here's a life-changing secret. Come in on, lean real close, and quiet down. Are you listening? Can you hear me okay? You have to promise to lock this secret away in your heart. Can I trust you? Okay, here we go. Nobody, and I mean absolutely no one knows what they're doing. I'm making it work. I'm figuring it out as I go. I'm making up the rest as I need. My life is a mess and at the same time it's practically perfect. I am an unsolvable enigma and a pop out picture book. I am a master of none and a jack of all trades. I am a work in progress and a longstanding masterpiece. Did you get all that? The sooner we realize that everybody is under construction and, pay close attention to that wondrous conjunction, that they're already a complete work the better. It's never either/or it's always, always, always, both. That's living life. I'm allowed to be undergoing repairs, and maxing out my self-mastery. It's that ambiguity coupled with that self-authored confidence that balance one another. My experience is more than just a clue finding mission in search of myself; it's also knowing exactly who I am. It's confusingly simple. It's simply confusing. Life is a series of contradictory oxymorons.


There is much to learn. The minute we believe we have come to know all there is to know is the moment we are lulled into a false sense of complacency. We are meant to seek knowledge, to work through all the chaos, and to make sense of what goes on. Taking to heart that not everything might have a reason, or at least one we understand, and being okay with that is part of our lived experience. What does it mean to live - and I mean really live. I think it's about experience the world, its people, and everything else it has to offer. It's making mistake after mistake, learning better, and going at it differently. It's coming to be closer to yourself and others. Community, communing, and congregating - being together with others, that is where all our life happens. It takes place in the big moments that we are wide awake and its incredible close, but even more so in the softspoken passive moments that we wander aimlessly through life. There is so much wonder is our days but we miss it as we grasp desperately in a search for the answers to those big aforementioned questions. Maybe there answers are in the silence. Maybe the answers are all around us. Maybe the answers don't matter as much as the process of working to figure them out do. Adulthood is a series of choices, big and small, all of which matter.
 
There seems to be this pressure to have it all worked out, to give off the appearance of being perfect, and to put in on display for others to see. There's this classist competitive tension that I have come to find among not just my peers but other adults. It's this need to be the best, at well ... everything. It's toxic and dangerous. It ignores all the interwoven factors that place us all at different points in our lives, ignores our individual needs, and persecutes our judgments against a woefully limited story. It says we should be making as much money as possible, should have a partner, and this picturesque to accompany it. It's unrealistic. It's outdated. It's not for everyone. At the same time, it's okay to want that and to actively pursue that. That dream is not universal though. Others find fulfillment in travel, adventure, work, giving back, or even hell - just themselves. Adulthood is finding what is right for you, and doing it for you. It's knowing yourself and finding peace in realizing that process is lifelong. We never arrive only travel. We never finish only persist. We never perfect only strive. That's it. Nothing more and nothing less. Believe that everyone is going through the same thing, and also something completely different. Our lives are similar and different. No matter our age or our stage, there is always more life to live, and that means exploration. That's adulthood. X

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