Having it Somewhat Figured Out.(Rough Draft)

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We were in our early twenties. So you

were still young enough to be arrogant,

to think you can know-it-all

or piece it all together by

age “fill in the blank.”

(This will be the first disappointment).

You were idolizing the 30 plus crowd,

projecting success fantasies onto

manicured fronts.

Meanwhile I never outgrew those

rough lines around the edges,

and  suspected no one else really does either.

 

What they didn’t tell us was what mattered:

they were just as lost as we were, just better

at not being the adult image their own

parents lied about. And how twenty-five

was not a three piece suit

(even when we’re trying to feel comfortable

in a three piece suit), but figuring out

that we would never have it all figured out after all.

 

You moved out west since then, and I’ve

grown comfortable in a disheveled jacket.

I wonder if you and your fake law school friends

would like my crowd.

Or, did you start asking, “what’s your baggage?”

while realizing your own unkempt pieces?

Also, isn’t this view beautiful, and are

your shoulders lighter because of it?

Note: More of a reflection as I celebrate my 28th birthday. 

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5 responses »

  1. Thought-provoking…reminding me of my 20’s, which were split between depression and panic in the first half of that decade, to exploration and self-acceptance after a few years of therapy. It never occurred to me to check with 30-year-olds or anyone from a different age. My coming of age was like that classic guy who refuses to ask for directions (though in traveling, I do). Somehow, I found the way, rather like wandering through a long forest and by your age, was fairly happy. Getting physically fit (especially bicycling) helped a lot. If you can hold on…amazing things can happen, even late in the day. Oh! Very nice poetry, by the by.

    • Thanks. I feel like I’m in the middle of depression and self acceptance concerning my 20s. I’m learning to embrace the uncertainty of life at least and realize you don’t need to have it all figured out or perfect to be happy.

      • Man…I don’t envy you (at least right now)! I never experienced depression until my early 20’s and it was awful. It turned out I was masking panic disorder with it! That took many years to manage but I figured that the world was too beautiful not to be in it–not just physically, but in terms of awareness and appreciation. Emily Dickinson obviously had panic and agoraphobia but she loved nature and I think her poetry kept her sane, even though she became a recluse. I used to sit by her grave and contemplate the sky, trees, birds and so on, as if I did it for her as well as myself.

        Interestingly, my son, who is 26, has depression and says he “accepts” it, that it’s part of him. I don’t really “get” it but luckily, he’s a singer-songwriter so he has a good outlet for it!

    • Also…this is also responding to someone I knew from my early twenties who was a little…narcissistic. He was the classic guy who thought he had it all figured out at 22 (ha!) and the rest of us were just idiots and not adult enough for his brilliance. And now I hear about him now and realize he was most likely insecure as hell. I guess we’ve all met someone like that while growing up

      • He sounds ridiculous! I actually DO recall leaning on a couple people in their thirties–my professors at university. They seemed almost godlike with what they knew about literature and philosophy. Then one day, I skipped a class and one of the profs asked me why (it was another teachers’s class). I said that just felt lazy and asked why he would care. He told me that the professor was flipping out, thinking I didn’t like him since he had just turned 40! I had to laugh and soon the other professor was laughing too. I began to realise that they were just human. Silly, isn’t it?

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