[caveat: i know that every single time i say things like this, everyone older than me is laughing at me to some degree or another. but i don't care. everyone comes to fundamental conclusions in their own time. just because the themes are universal doesn't make the individual discovery of said themes any less meaningful, or deeply unsettling. now then.]
my understanding of maturing into an adult was that, after a period of adolescent struggle, life would eventually reach a coasting neutral. there would be happy deviations and awful deviations – y’know, ups and downs, strikes and gutters, as the dude would say – but the mean would be kind of a relaxed peace with home, work, family, friends, etc.
that has not at all been the case.
what my maturity into adulthood has actually been is a series of long fights, capstone incidents (either victories or defeats), brief lulls and BOOM, on to the next fight. just when you think ok, we’re good – here comes the part where i can coast for awhile, something else swings around the bend to send you into fight mode again. it’s a never-ending series of struggle-struggle-struggle-breath-struggle. even when one area of life settles down – school, job, relationship, health, etc. – another area falls into chaos. it’s like some kind of tire fire must always be burning.
and it’s dumb. it’s tiring. there’s NO REASON for this.
i have always railed against the ridiculous american myth of redemptive suffering. i think it’s the height of stupid that pain is a necessary growth agent. redemptive suffering is the sucker-job the religionists laid on their congregants to keep them in the flock in spite of all the restrictive, repressive diktats they mandated. you must deny yourself anything good, pleasurable, or nice in this life, but it’s okay, because your reward is in heaven. if you ever want me to thoroughly distrust you, tell me my reward is in heaven. that’s a con job to make people comfortable with abuses and injustices.
so why the hell does life have to be so hard all the time? and yeah, it’s all first-world problems, another cute little snippet of language designed to shame people away from questioning challenges. i get that my life is better than a starving kid in a war-torn corner of the world. clearly. that doesn’t diminish the fact that everyone up and down the scope of privilege has pain and challenges. it’s supposed to be a badge of honor to be STRONG, TOUGH, BRAVE, WARRIOR, ROOOOAR. dude, whatever. i am not always tough. and that’s NORMAL. it’s not human to be completely fine all the time. you’re either lying to yourself or you’re a sociopath.
you have to have enough fortitude to get through your day and meet your responsibilities. but sometimes, it’s okay to be broken for a bit. even the man is guilty of this. he thinks it’s encouraging to say things like, we’re young, we’re healthy and we have each other; what else do we need to be happy? [nota bene: we are NOT that young anymore. the mid-thirties are here.] it’s a well-intentioned statement, but it ends up doing two things: a) diminishing whatever’s upsetting me as being ungrateful for the good things and b) engendering guilt for not being happy all the time. i call bull on both of those things.
look. resiliency is a good character trait to have – since hard times are a part of life, it’s good to bear them with grace. but i question why the hits just keep on coming in this life. and i have a good case. the whole thing is, you’re supposed to live right and things will fall into place for you, isn’t it? well then, what happens when you live right and they don’t? how long are you supposed to struggle before you start wondering why? or are you just supposed to bow your head and bear it?
i don’t know. i am just tired of struggles on struggles on struggles. it’s like a taunt – come on, a little closer, almost there, almost through it, LOLNOPE!!!!!! – that never ends. i don’t think it’s unreasonable to expect some level of security and peace in life after a certain point. i may be 100% alone in that feeling, but i doubt it. i am just ready for life to settle the hell down.