Wednesday, November 8, 2017

On Adulthood

You remember when you were a kid and being an adult seemed so legit? You would get to vote and drive a car and use credit cards, and you wouldn't have a curfew because you'd be in charge of your own damn self. Your mom wouldn't pick out your clothes anymore, you could buy the food you wanted and none of the healthy stuff your parents thrust upon you, and you could finally--finally--live the life you thought you'd have (based on the happy endings of the films you loved).

Well, children, I am *cough*sputter*cough* years old, and I am here to tell you what you have undoubtedly gleaned for yourself: being an adult is bullshit.

I'm not just saying this because I'm in a bad place right now, although that is certainly a contributing factor. I'm also saying it because I've seen it reflected in the faces of friends and colleagues lately. But more importantly, I'm saying it because sometimes life as an adult sucks because you yourself suck.

This isn't my way of accusing anyone else of being lame or terrible. It's actually me acknowledging how awful I am myself, or at least how heinous I can be at times. Last week, when I wrote a post about youth being awesome, it was partly because I truly feel that way, and partly because I was hoping to find a way back to that good, boundless spirit young people often have. 

This past summer was foul, and it bled over into autumn, in no small measure because I've made two huge mistakes this year that altered the course of things and contributed to a deepening of my own depression. The first mistake--job related--is something I may be able to fix in the long run, if I can manage to recapture the drive I had in simpler, younger times.

The second mistake, a personal one--well, it looks like I won't be able to rectify the situation, which is at least 50 percent my fault and sent me into a spiral of self-doubt, anxiety, and pseudo-regret (I say pseudo because I don't actually regret this thing, just the way it turned out). Maybe someday I'll be able to claw myself out of that hole, but I can't count on that, because adults are stubborn and our brains aren't as easily rewired as they were when we were young, and it appears that no amount of passion, belief, or longing can change this.

Because of my brain chemistry, I've never been a naturally optimistic person, as I'm sure you can all tell from reading this. But I said it last week and I'll say it again: it would be great if we could learn something about having an outlook for a more hopeful future from our young people, because adults as a group could use an injection of that from time to time, so we don't end up constantly despairing about our lives.


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