Growing up, adults lie to you all the time. Sometimes it’s to protect you. Sometimes it’s just easier. Looking back now, I realize that most of these lies came from fallibleness of my parents. As kids, we ask of the impossible and expect a legitimate answer. I look around and see parents as old as I am. I have to believe they have just as little idea of what the fuck is going on? I’m sorry little Timmy, but I have no goddamn clue why we’re here. Well, Annie, I still feel more like a child than an adult so I can’t really tell you what it’s like to be grown up. My driver’s license says I’m an adult, but I have no idea what I’m doing. I was more certain of my profession when I was eight (zoologist-thank you Steve Irwin, Jeff Corwin, and the Kratz Brothers) than I am now (something to do with economics? Or psychology? Sports management?). For the longest time, I had this self-sustaining illusion of knowledge and experience that came with adulthood. Now, the cracks are beginning to show in that logic and I’m left with an equally terrifying and reassuring truth: adults are just as clueless kids.
Is there more quantifiable knowledge in my brain now than 10 years ago? Of course. Can I answer any existential question better than before? Nope and I’m far less certain of the answers I do give. With ignorance comes certitude. When I was a kid, I didn’t worry about God or why we’re here. The world was smaller then. The stars seemed like twinkling headlights, lighting the road ahead and I was special. I was destined for greatness and fame and fortune and every hope that kept me warm as I lay in bed. The path was simple. Get good grades school in high school so I could go to a good college so employers would beg me to work for them and I could swim in gold and money á la Uncle Scrooge.
Now, the path is anything but simple. My current career path resembles a myopic man in San Franciscan fog travelling through a labyrinth. He knows that if he bumbles around aimlessly, eventually he will find his goal, but damn, some hedge cutters and a flashlight would be great right now. This is the best decade of my life. I am past teenage angst and middle school (thank God!). I am independent, healthy, and free to make some mistakes before settling down. Robert Frost has been making sporadic appearances in my mind. Periodically, throughout the days and weeks, a voice will chirp “Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-I took the one less traveled by, and that has made all the difference.” Frost had it easy. I don’t even know where to find the damn roads. Any direction is an option. I would love some painless dichotomy. Instead, I’m stuck in this clusterfuck. Luckily, any direction I take will put me somewhere different than before. I don’t need to consistently progress, I just have to move.