What I would give to be a twenty-something again…
I feel I’ve spent many of my moments throughout the past couple of years hearing some rendition of this phrase from those I’ve encountered. In some sense, I understand what the people are saying. At twenty-something years old, our metabolisms are faster, our alcohol tolerances higher, our abilities to function on less than six hours of sleep more acute. These are the prime years of our lives, the people say. We have the entire world at our fingertips, so much life ahead of us.
I don’t want to waste my twenty-something years complaining about them. In fact, it is perhaps the greatest lesson I’ve learned in my twenty-something years of life so far that we don’t know what the good old days are until they have already passed. It’s one of life’s most depressing truths, and its implications are obvious: if we don’t know what the good old days are, we must treat every day as one.
This is absolutely, unwaveringly true. But I write this post because I feel compelled to divulge the dirty little secret behind the twenty-something years: at twenty-something years old, we can only see but a small piece of the puzzle that is our lives. We are standing so close to the Monet that all we see is a blob of greens and pinks, not a beautiful water lily. This is not to say that the blobs aren’t beautiful in their own right–they most certainly are. It’s just that we cannot fully understand them, their purpose, their function, their potential, without viewing the rest of the painting.
Anyone who knows me knows that I’m a very impatient person. It’s something I’m constantly working on, but the truth is that I struggle with waiting. I think that’s because I struggle with the unknown. I like to plan, to prepare, to understand, in meticulous detail, the future output of my present and past life choices. I find so much beauty in the Monet Water Lilies that a green glob of acrylic only leaves me feeling empty, disappointed, and hungry to search for more.
What I have to remind myself, however, is that there exists another truth, one that I seldom hear my acquaintances contemplating in both the best and the worst of times: the mystery of the world, the ever-unknown context of each of our choices within the larger paintings of our lives, means that anything at all could be painted on that canvas. So many people have concluded that the unknown is a bad thing because of its capacity to cause us pain at the sudden loss or illness of a loved one, or to take away our jobs or to break our hearts at the drop of a hat. But doesnt it also follow, doesnt the unknown also necessarily mean that at any moment, we could meet our new friends and family, fall in love, laugh, smile, be the recipients of random acts of kindness?
At twenty-something, I have come to this conclusion: perspective is what counts at the end of the day. I have decided to start this blog in the hopes that I can gain some perspective on my own life by sharing parts of it with others. I also hope that I may be able to offer some perspective to others that might need it.
I believe that everything happens for a reason and that our lives are always in the process of being painted, whether we can see the entire canvas or not. I lost hold of this belief for a period of time, a time when absolutely everything felt like it was falling apart at the seams. So, this blog is ultimately an attempt to reaffirm that belief in myself and to give it back to others that may find that they are losing faith in it, too.