Saturday, June 10, 2006

20 years old...

I am officially not a teen any more. Scary as that may sound, it's not the most jarring part; for now, at the cusp of my formative (as if every day of ones life isn't in some way formative) and adult years I must, in fact, be my own person. I know this concept may elude some.

“What do you mean be your own person? You've been in college for two years, had your own job, made your own life decisions...etc".

I do understand this argument, and though all of these things are true, the bottom line, slap in the face reality is: all of my scapegoats are on an official leave of absence, and until I reach the age in which expectations for me are lowered again (probably at 100 with the rate popular thinking is evolving), the ball is not only in my court, it's in my hands.

For the first time in my life I am officially faced with the task of ordering my own steps. It matters little what my self perception has been over the years, how intellectually independent I think I have become in entering college or even how hard I’ve worked to makes sane/levelheaded decisions. Before this moment (or before June 1st to be exact) all of these things were attributed to the guidance of my parents, mentors, and other guardians over my life. Up until this point, every tumble I’ve taken, every inch I’ve fallen, every mistake I’ve made has been (in the eyes of the general public) de-facto transferred onto the shoulders of others. But now, at the ripe age of 20 I am essentially expected to "know better".

I am an adult. Perhaps the most power packed four words I’ve every spoken, this declaration has a finality that I have been afraid of for all of my life. In being comfortable with its constant inconsistencies, I have, ironically, come to define my stability through life’s seemingly erratic fluctuations. Seeing my thoughts as a representative manifestation of these variations as apposed to a digressive deviation from the comparatively regular and stable psyche of others has given me reassurance that has transcended the boundaries of outside perceptions.

But now, those boundaries are extended and I am frightened at the prospect of having to change my level of individuality/instability. With these new boundaries I am effectively forced to "go all out". Now, instead of comfortably residing outside of the area in which others expect me to be, I must push myself to reach that place.

This transition into adulthood would not be as jarring if it were not for the fact that this new status has moved the place in which I am most comfortable to an area that is beyond my comfort zone. The sad part is I knew it was coming, and, from the viewpoint a person who, if given a choice, would rather be ignorant of his terminal illness, this knowlege was/is the pea under my mattress.

If God has a sense of humor life must be his court jester.