Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Struggle Of The Ages

When you reach a certain age, you are expected to behave a certain way. There's a maturity that is demanded of you as you grow older, and you might also find that you desire it. But, especially when you're still a young adult, the residue of adolescence sometimes gets in the way. It's like there are two forces fiercely twisting and twining around inside for control. One is dark, heavy, and hot, gripping your heart and mind like a thousand sweaty handshakes that never let go. The other is cool, composed, and level-headed, but difficult to reach. You have to climb over the jagged, slippery rock of the first force before you can reach this second one - this more mature one. It's like you have to climb up inside in order to grow up.

Sometimes I don't know what it is to be grown up. Does something happen to your emotions that you are able to remain better in control of them when you grow older? Do you acquire a skill a younger person does not have? And how is this skill acquired? I so wish I didn't feel so strongly about things not worth feeling strongly about. I wish I could be more grown up about that sort of thing. It feels so stupid and immature to feel things when I oughtn't feel them.

Conflicting emotions are so tricky. Because which one do you really feel? I am so shy and a large part of me wishes to remain out of the limelight. But sometimes I do wish I could be told that something I've done is great, or thanked for something, or just shown some recognition that I'm doing the right things, and that's not to say that I've never had that, because I have. But then again, how can I possibly want those things? Because I don't do things in order to get any of that. I do things because I so much want to. I want to do things for people. I want to write. I want to accomplish. I want to be a good person because I believe that is the best way to be. Not because I want anything more than to be happy with myself and to make other people happy. And yet sometimes this conflicts with a secret desire for recognition. But how? How can those two exist simultaneously inside? I'm not an arrogant person or a selfish person. I know I'm not. So why do I sometimes crave these things? And I feel so ashamed when I hear other people say they don't want these things, because I don't want them either, except for that tiny voice inside of me that does.

I wonder if everyone really has that tiny voice inside?

1 comment:

RaggedyMom said...

There are a lot of moments where I still wonder how I got to be 'the grownup' in a situation. And when I see a group of girls who are in high school, once in a blue moon I almost think, "Hey, wait for me, guys!"

But that's contrasted with moments of feeling very much like I'm in this place in life as a mom and wife and yep, adult. It comes gradually, sometimes undetected and sometimes accompanied by those big deal grownup difficult things we have to do and deal with over the years. And the change is mostly palpable in hindsight. But I do feel like what you're describing is very universal, and sounds just right.