Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Holiday Hiatus

Y'all, I am beat.

I'm not just tired in my body. I'm tired in my soul. And I want to take a break, go into hibernation like the animals do. Instead, the most I can manage is taking a holiday hiatus from this blog, which I hardly work on at all in the first place.

Here's hoping 2018 will be better, because I know I'm not the only one who needs to hit the reset button. 


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.


Wednesday, November 1, 2017

On Youth

People often have trouble believing that I am *cough*sputter*cough* years old. It turns out that the single genetic gift my parents bestowed upon me (sorry, but it's true) is a young-looking face. Sometimes this works in my favor, such as when I was employed by a high school and needed to be able to connect with teenage students. Other times, it's a burden; people decline to take me seriously because I must have less experience or education.

Speaking as someone who is old enough to have finished grad school in 2012(!), though, I assure you that I've been through some shit (both personally and professionally), and the government has been trusting me to drive, consume alcohol, and vote for some time now. I've suffered through my quarter-life crisis, and my childhood pets are long gone. And I've reached an age that even adults consider to be adult-like.

But on the other hand, let's not discount youth! Young people--let's say 16-26--often have insights that full-blown adults do not, simply because adults have too much baggage and experience behind them to look at certain events or problems with fresh eyes. They are also full of energy, and some of them still have that boundless capacity for love and friendship that the rest of us have lost. Oftentimes, I've found that the creativity of young people far exceeds that of adults, because they are still at a time in life when others actively encourage their unusual points of view or their creative bents. 

I think youth is a good thing, and young people are an asset to our society. Let's not give them such short shrift. After all, as Whitney said, the children are our future.