There Comes A Day When Every Man Must Stand On Their Own

image - Flickr / stefanos papachristou
image – Flickr / stefanos papachristou

“There comes a day when every man must stand on their own,” I remember my uncle saying to me. What does this even mean? What is even more mysterious is what does that look like? If standing on my own means that at some point I will be fully financially responsible for my own shelter, food, clothing, healthcare, basically EVERYTHING in my life, plus be expected to work a job for 365 days a year then I’d rather live between the ages of 19.75 and 21 forever.

Adult life is scary. I don’t see how any of you can do it. There are plenty of examples of fully functioning adults around us, but never could you even begin to understand how one can have and maintain, let’s say, a good credit score. We can blame our parents for the mishaps of child development for only so long, but once we leave this forced fed pseudo-intellectually progressive umbrella called a “liberal arts college,” you did it, you are “grown” as they say, and guess what, Mama can’t save you now. It’s all on you baby! There are no more summer vacations; instead, there are calmer days at the office and more Vitamin C. (But it doesn’t always have to be this way.)

I am a wide-eyed and somewhat naïve twenty something in every sense of the image, but I’ve come to a pretty daunting realization within the past couple of weeks. I don’t know everything, and what is even more frightening than that, I don’t know what I am doing. I wouldn’t exactly say that I’m having “a moment”, or some-kind of strange “find yourself” identity crisis. I can be as confident, tell you what I want my life to look like, even go after the things I want instead of just talking about them, but at the end of the day, I don’t think I really know what I’m doing, AT ALL. This goes for basically every area in my life. I can’t tell you how many times these existential episodes actually play out in my head. Where does a person even begin to start to plan out their life? How do we make the decisions that best suit us? Who do you begin to trust? I can either spend my evenings as a productive recluse, or spend it within the company of friends around pizza and wine, watching American Psycho.

In less than three months, I will be 21. The thought of that age somewhat scares me because I can almost say, “Yeah, I was 20 once,” or “Yeah, at 20, such and so happened,” and it’s like, Dude, you mean to tell me that I’ve already been 20 and that I lived to see it and actually lived through it in such a short, short amount of time? I feel like 20 is just starting for me and I am just now beginning to experience it. Now, in a few years, I will REALLY be expected to have my shit figured out.

Ugh, the future is so uncertain. Some will tell you to embrace it, especially if you desire to go down a path that is more creative and less institutional. Besides risk taking, if there is one thing that I can say that I’ve been faced with over and over within the past year is that if you don’t do what you say you’re going to do, and you keep pushing it aside, then one day you will have to face the consequences for doing just that. I think that adults are accountable, and part of being accountable is being responsible for your decisions and beliefs. If you say you have/want to do something, then you better get to it.

Saying things and thinking them run on the same frequency. They are all like theories with no real application behind them. I can say that I want to study abroad all day long, but if I don’t pay for that plane ticket, or follow through with the visa process, because trust me, it is A PROCESS, then I’m not going anywhere. I believe that this how, perhaps, adults are able to succeed in managing their own adulthood, but hell, what do I know? I guess the only way to find out is to just live it. TC mark

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