Home > Uncategorized > What You Gotta Learn For Yourself

What You Gotta Learn For Yourself

Do you remember that guy who kept insisting, loudly, whenever someone looked like they might have been having the least bit of fun, that Dec 31st 1999 was not the last day of the millennium? Instead, we had to wait until Jan 1st, 2001 for the new millennium to begin? He may have been technically correct, but mostly you just nodded until he stopped talking so you could go for another champagne and Jack.

By that logic, I have just hit my 30’s now. It seems strange. By most cultural measures, you could probably say I’m an adult. I’ve got a steady job, I’m in debt, and often buy cauliflower on purpose. So when my parents offered to take me out some place for dinner for my birthday, I thought maybe it’d be fun to go some place in the city. Some place fancy. I found myself thinking it’d be fun to dress up like a grown up and go to restaurant that doesn’t offer “buffalo” anything.

Of course it’s a bit silly to be 31 years old and still think it’s subversive to pretend to be an adult. But then I realized that what they don’t tell you when you’re a kid is that there’s no one thing labeled “adulthood”. It’s goal you eventually reach. It’s just a continuum and if you play your cards right you can end up finding a spot that’s comfortable for you. But that comes from trial and error more than anything.

Shortly after college, I fucked up an important relationship, in part because I had these terrifying notions of “growing up”, and what that would entail. I didn’t know how that happened to someone, but I I couldn’t abide any little instance of change, fearing that any given step forward would end in a mortgage and 2.5 kids. I had bought into the idea that just because most of the people I’d seen over 30 were empty shells, then settling into a stupefyingly dull middle age was as natural as puberty.

The reality is that there are different ways you can choose to live. You just need to stop being as much of a fuck up. Even if you find yourself in a situation that would have seemed unimaginable to the 14 year old you, it is essential to find your joy somewhere. You may feel encumbered by accidents of fate or piss-poor decision making, but there is plenty of beauty in this world for you to take with you. Hold on to that and you won’t feel old.

People find that not everything worked out for them as planned. Then they blame that on growing up. If only it were so easy. The truth is that that’s life. We all have challenges and regrets. The trick is to not get bogged down in old expectations. In the end, the only way to truly be an adult is to accept that there’s no such thing.

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