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The Trouble of Being in your 20s

October 8, 2012

I feel this press upon and around me and it’s born out of being in my 20s. I think at this point in your life there is so much (too much) external and internal pressure to live it all and sort your life out. To know categorically where your heading and be starting down the path of the rest of your life- everything else up until this point has been preparation and now you have to step out of the safety of preparation and put it all into practice for your real life.  
 So much we are told that is the path you will stay on into your middle age, dotage and it will end somewhere along the way in death. Society expects these stages from us, but why do we have to feel like we have to conform to it?
More and more I’m peeling that skin of pressure off myself until it is becoming less and less important to conform to the wishes of others,  so that the me I want to be is my outer skin and not pictures of me that others want to see. Three words so simple they seem impossible to fit the complications of real life but if I could just live in the heart and soul of ‘let it be’.
 I have faith in that higher force, energy, fate, God, the universe whatever you want to call it that there is a point way off in the future that I’m supposed to get to and that there are so many ways and paths to get there that it really doesn’t matter if I stumble, trip and fall along the way or skip with elegance and grace from one step to the next. If I’m supposed to get there one day then I will and everything in between is a beautiful chance and a guide to experiencing everything in its fullness and ripeness- the disappointments, the anger, the laughter and the exploding moments of pure life- are all part of it so that, when I arrive at that metaphorical or real point on the horizon I’ll be ready for it. Equipped with all the shades of life from the grey to the neon brights oozing from my every pore filling me with a complete readiness for that point when it all comes together one day and makes sense in a way it never could now.
Maybe, I am progressing too slowly down the path that society expects of us.  I can see the bricks that my parents, school and university have laid down for me, starting points, but they end and I’m starting to put down my own direction. A hope is bounding through me because they end at a wide and limitless horizon-no limits unless I put them there. What more could I want than this start, this preparation, it is almost the yellow brick road of Dorothy fame, bright and solid with so much hope and promise built into it but what am I going to do with this golden start?
I’m poised with my trough and brick looking in all directions and thinking which way? I want to make waves in this world, in people’s minds and to be a person who does good. I worry less because I have a quiet certainty that I’ll get to wherever it is supposed to be in the end. And with that thought a weight of expectation is cast down and I’m free to bound on.
There have been disappointments but I’m steadily learning to not let them wear on me for long because it is all part of it and it will pass and from it I will learn. They are such small specks in the painting of my life, a few crumbled bricks out of 100’s of other solid ones on this journey of mine. Before I would have faltered at the crumbled brick, tripped and fallen down and wallowed in being down for a while and then slowly and reluctantly returned to my feet cursing the world for being unfair but now my foot is catching on it and moving on.
I want my path to be papered over with pages and pages of writing, littered with words so that my journey, complete with all I encountered and felt, can be known by others and wisdom passed on. How wise one must be at the end of a full life and what a waste, for that learned and experienced wisdom to die with them instead of being passed on to help somebody else along their way. This is surely why we write and why we read. So I am ready to bound ahead, even if the bounding is sometimes made of tiny steps, I’ll get there in the end and know it worthwhile if I have lived wisdom to pass on.
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