Maturity comes and goes. That’s a truism about me, one that I suspect is true about most people. This, however, is a suspicion without any solid basis, more “what I hope” than “what I know.”
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What I know is that while inner peace, faith, and trust were easy to find for a day or two, they’re now in short supply inside me. I’m working once again at parenting and reparenting myself, at being a grownup rather than being an anxious kid underneath it all.
Is life this way for everyone?
There are times—and this entire year has been one of them—when I wish I was wired like “everyone else.”
Of course, I know that “everyone else” is a convenient mental shortcut for the insecure, and that in fact there are many that struggle mightily with everyday stability. Mental illness is a fact of human life that affects so many, some visibly, others not.
So what I mean is that I wish I was wired like the people, whomever they are and healthy or not, that would not actually be struggling in the ways that I am struggling right now to just be okay.
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I also think back to the self that I carried to New York and, at times like this, wish I was that person again.
Those who say that life always moves forward are wrong. You can, in fact, go backward, and we are evidence of that. I am by a decent measure both less mature and less able than I was then. I miss that me and it was hard to build him.
Presently, when I manage to pull myself together, I’ll begin trying to build him again.
– § –
In the meantime, however, I’ll spend the rest of today clinging to maturity and to the idea of maturity—to sane and stable responses, to larger-context knowledge, and to emotional well-being, insomuch as I can.
It’s one of those days on which I won’t get nearly as much done as “I’m capable of.” The kinds of days that characterized most of my childhood (and that colored most of my childhood report cards, which contained precisely that sentiment for years, and for the same reason).