My Mountain is as Beautiful as Your Mountain
Musings on the value of stones.
I was having a discussion recently with one of my best friends regarding the fears and worries we share about our lives and our futures. My friend remarked that all of her other friends were settling down, buying houses, marrying, acquiring steady jobs, and in comparison she was starting to look negatively at her own life. She told me that their lives made her dream of becoming a writer (a dream we share) feel like a joke. I know exactly how it feels to view your own dream as a joke while your peers seem to be living the life of the successful adult.
I am twenty-eight years old and for the past thirteen years I have dreamt of becoming a professional writer. The differences between my life and those of my peers grow each year I fail to progress in achieving my dream. It becomes easy to look at my life as something negative and insignificant. Long held dreams turn into a waste of time, a joke.
“I often feel unable to connect with people my own age.”
Here’s some background for you. My sister and I have not had a stereotypical life, we spent a large amount of our lives travelling with our parents around the world instead of settling down somewhere. My parents’ love of spontaneity, as well as certain circumstances in our life, meant we could decide to go on our next adventure at the drop of a hat. There were many things we were blessed to experience, but there were just as many experiences, typical of most young people’s lives, we lacked. My sister and I rarely had the opportunity to hang out, or develop friendships, with people our own age. In fact, we pretty much had no social lives of our own and, apart from a short stint at University, neither of us have a degree in anything. Our dad is an entrepreneur and we have followed in his footsteps. As a result of my childhood I often feel unable to connect with people my own age.
It’s easy to look back at your life and think I should have done it this way or that way or made this decision and not that one, mistakes were inevitably made. The reality is that you take life as it comes and you try to make the best choices, to the best of your knowledge, within a particular set of circumstances.
“Our life felt like something to be embarrassed about.”
My sister and I have often felt ashamed at the things we never got to experience. We felt perhaps that people would judge us, think of us as pathetic or stupid. Our life felt like something to be embarrassed about. Even now when I meet people my age, or even younger, I feel almost like I’m the child and they’re the adult, I feel inferior. Here’s how I see it today, our accomplishments don’t make us adults. I would argue that most so-called adults don’t qualify to be labeled as such.
To be an adult is a matter of maturity, it’s taking responsibility for your actions, your relationships and your life. It’s being able to think things through and weigh the consequences of your actions or inaction. According to Merriam-Webster the definition of Adult is to be “fully developed and mature.” How is maturity measured? I would say it is measured in the way we deal with situations as well as our ability to see amd judge the consequences of our actions. Studies suggest the brain doesn’t stop developing until the age of 25!
“Here I am, feeling ashamed and scared and intimidated by someone who’s just as scared and intimidated as I am!”
I’ve met a lot of people throughout the years, from all walks of life and of all ages and professions, and whenever I talk about my experiences some admit they feel intimidated by them. There are situations that I have gone through that people older than me, with jobs and kids and a house, don’t know how to deal with just as I have no idea how to deal with situations they have gone through. I say this to illustrate how subjective all of this is. Here I am, feeling ashamed and scared and intimidated by someone who’s just as scared and intimidated as I am!
There are no right ways to live your life, there is only the choice of how you live it and taking responsibility for that choice, that is what it means to be an adult. Houses, jobs, kids and life partners are just things you collect as you move through life, they’re not requirements and there are no deadlines! There are possibilities and opportunities in every life, bad stuff and good stuff and even though people may judge me for how I live my life, I’m the one that actually has to live it. So you know, live your life and enjoy every moment of it!
“Supposedly Confucius said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.””
The discussion I had with my friend has made me think about my own dream of becoming a writer. As my dad likes to tell me repeatedly, you become a writer as soon as you write. Supposedly Confucius said, “The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying away small stones.”
Well, my first stone is a short blog post about pretty much nothing, but there’s an audience for the nothings in your life. There’s an audience for my nothings, because I am not the only one with these fears, dreams and worries, and people like to be reminded that they’re not alone. So basically I guess what I want to say is: you’re not alone. I’m struggling along right beside you.