Growing up is hard and wonderful


I saw my friend again tonight (the one I blogged about a few days ago), and again, I greatly enjoyed her company. As I sat and listened to talk about her family in Vietnam, and snorkeling in Hawaii, and the frustrations of her job, I realized how relatively sheltered my own life has been. I am still a kid inside. I haven’t grown up yet. Or, to put it more accurately, I am in the process of growing up, which is both hard and wonderful. As caught up as I can get in my own daydreams and develop crushes on celebrities I admire, nothing compares to the connection you can feel just simply sitting across from someone in a restaurant and listening to the story of their life. This is Real. So much of our lives are spent meaninglessly, at jobs we don’t care about, mindlessly watching tv or cruising the web. Worst of all, we wallow in our own thoughts, nurturing our hopes and fears. All around us is the real world, which if properly engaged should fill you with wonder, and reveal, beneath the ugliness, a beauty that is painful to experience. It is kind of hard for me to explain all of the things I am feeling. Even as I try to grasp them , I can feel my feelings fading away, replaced with the comfortable obliviousness I am used to. All of my life I have wanted something real, something honest to happen in my life, and was driven to distraction by the relentless phoniness of life. When all that time it was right in front of me. Occasionally when you least expect it, you get a moment or two of clarity. The beauty of that moment is heartbreaking, because it doesn’t and can’t last. Growing up is the process of leaving behind the false world of the imagination and engaging something truly real, but also unknown. It is hard for me to write about this because it has nothing really to do with the circumstances of your life. It has to do with how you experience something.

The reason I am going on and on about this is because I had been really depressed lately, and in a state where I just couldn’t derive any satisfaction from anything I did. Then I experienced the opposite of that, where I was caught up in a reverie over all the wonderful things I was going to do with my life. My daydreams became intrusive. imagining myself becoming a celebrity and being able to express my thoughts and my humor on a large scale, an international scale. I think a lot of this has to do with the internet. The experience of putting your thoughts on the web as I am doing now, can be very infectious. You imagine having an impact on people all over the world. Then you return to your mundane existence, in which just being able to go to work each day can be a struggle. The contrast between that high and that low is very stressful. Then, once again I spend some time with a friend. A friend who simply through the act of being totally herself and sharing herself with me triggered a transformation. The actual activity was mundane, but it opened up my consciousness to something other than my own mind. No. I am not talking about falling in love. I have been in love and that is something quite different. When you are in love you are in a state of bliss, but a kind of blinding bliss, rather than a clarifying bliss. I suppose I could just be going on about just a simple fact of friendship. No big deal. But I have had many conversations with friends, which are more like two televisions facing one another. There is no true connection. I believe this transformation has more to do with me than my friend, although she served as a catalyst. I am opening up to myself and the world around me in a way I haven’t before. I have decided to call it growing up. Maybe, finally, at the age of 58, I am growing up.

I realize that this post hasn’t really been about anything, but rather an attempt to express what cannot really be expressed, at least not adequately. Sorry about that. I think my orgy of self-expression lately has something to do with this opening up as well. I feel as though I am pulling myself up by the roots. Not necessarily an unpleasant feeling, but a unique one. Perhaps my future blogs will reflect less drama and more truth telling from a unique perspective. This is one of those posts which should have the tag ???????

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