How to adult: be patient.
I think adulthood is split in three parts.
In the first part, you are working hard to get all the things you wanted as a child. Material and immaterial things.
In the second part, you are working hard to get all the things you wanted as a teenager.
In the third part, you are finally working hard to get all the things you wanted as an adult.
That is why I believe that childhood is the most important period in a human’s life. If you had a fucked up childhood you’ll be busy with solving your childhood for most, or all, of your adult life.
If your teen years are fucked up you’ll get plenty of crises with inexplicable behavior, later in life.
If your initial years of adulthood are fucked up your ageing will be very unimpressive.
“Fucked up” means all those certain life situations that make you want indefinite things, not things, emotional cravings not emotions, “fucked up” means all those life stories that left you with indescribable voids inside.
For example, I am heading full speed for my mid life crisis and I am barely done with my childhood wants. I am lucky, I’ve seen worse.
This epiphany of mine only reinforced the deep belief I had that children need emotional support first and everything else, a distant second. Emotional support requires time, forgiveness and physical presence, and nothing in this world we’ve build supports having all three as a parent.
Children take, first the milk, then the time, then your life out of you.
As a parent one needs the capacity to forgive the child for ripping through their life and breaking it in two: before children and after children.
This is not for parents to understand. Unfortunately, I learned forgiveness cannot be learned. This is for grown up children who need to understand their parents.
You become an adult without notice. Some become adults way too early, dragging their childish bodies through hard to overcome emotional hurdles. Some become adults way too late, having accrued way too long lists of things to get.
You know, a short list is very long if the items on it are highly particular.
We need to iterate to get from general to particular, and each iteration takes more time than the one before it. This makes a great deal of difference between individuals. It’s better to want generic things, yet the less you have, the more particular you become in your desires.
Conflicts suck. Sometimes life shifts. It’s not that it changes, it shifts. All your initial desires are suddenly incompatible with your new required desires. These inconsistencies take a lot of adult migraines and broken hearts and binge behavior to reconcile.
Patience is a form of faith. Even if you are an impenetrable atheist, patience still is the faith that you’ll exist at the end of your journey.
As an adult impatience begets fear and fear begets impatience. For an adult the boogie man is real — poverty, sickness, death, loneliness — and the adult fear of the boogie man, while less visceral, is more pervasive.
Childhood wants are boring, yet fundamental.
Teenage wants are fun, but hard.
Adult wants are hard, yet meaningful.
What I came to see through direct experience is that when fundamental pieces are missing it feels as if your soul constantly walks on thin wire.
Fulfilment is achievable with patience, and adulthood is exactly that a long walk for fulfilment. Will you arrive?