Questions I Have For People Who Have Their Life Figured Out

Hello Person Who Has Their Life Figured Out,

Have you been sent to this planet to make me feel bad? I went to your apartment the other day and was overwhelmed by how grown up it felt. You had three candles burning and it smelled like stability — a scent that I can’t seem to find anywhere — and you offered me some tea (WHO DOES THAT?) and I noticed that you also had freshly cut hydrangeas on your coffee table. For the record, I also have hydrangeas on my coffee table. I bought them with a Dean & Deluca gift card I got for Christmas and I’ve found that their presence soothes me. The other day though, I knocked over the vase and water spilled everywhere. I couldn’t find a rag so I halfheartedly soaked it up with some paper towels. For some reason, I never refilled the vase so the flowers wilted and eventually died. My hydrangeas are dead. Yours are alive. They serve as a parable of my life lately, of where I’m going as a 25-year-old and where I’m not. The lesson is vague but there: I bought the hydrangeas. I couldn’t keep them alive.

You’re secretly crazy, right? Tell me you’re cray cray. Beneath the grown up apartment and copious supply of band-aids and hydrogen peroxide and the lemon water you keep in a pitcher in a fridge, you’re paying your bills late or your boyfriend is a jerk or you slept through your best friend’s birthday party, right? You’re losing it. When people ask how you’re doing, you say, “I baked fresh bread today and mopped the floors and sent an important work email. I also bought a spice rack. HAVE YOU SEEN MY SPICE RACK?” You stand there holding the spice rack motionless like it’s supposed to answer the question for me. “How do you think I’m doing? I own a freaking spice rack!”

I wish it were all a mirage, I wish this were BS posturing, but I don’t think it is. I think you’re a person who genuinely doesn’t have to worry about being on the right track and being where you’re supposed to be. It comes naturally to you. I bought the hydrangeas to be a grown up. You bought the hydrangeas because you thought they were pretty.

Your Facebook makes me feel bad about myself. I have over a thousand friends on that damn website and yet, somehow, your status updates rise to the top like a diamond rising from a sea of crap. They say a variety of different things but I read them all the same way: “Today I went important places because I’m a person who has their life figured out. I’m going to get married, have a job and be someone’s parent. Go me!” It’s so easy to make fun of someone who goes the conventional route in life. You feel almost bad for them because it might appear as if they’re just following a script. These aren’t things they necessarily want to do but they feel like they should. But you know why I can’t make fun of you, Person Who Has Their Life Figured Out? Because you’re genuinely happy. These are your choices, these are your own desires, and they just so happen to be very vanilla. You’re not struggling. You aren’t a struggler. Must feel nice.

Are you aware of any of this? Do you know that you could be a person who kills the flowers, who doesn’t burn candles, who doesn’t have a healthy lover? The thing that’s so fascinating about people who have their life figured out is that they’re rarely aware of the alternative. The right choices are effortless to make. They don’t know any different.

One day I’ll be someone who has band-aids in their medicine cabinet and has a dog and bakes bread for fun and LOLs. But that day isn’t today. I guess the one good thing about being someone who doesn’t have it all figured out is that you’re able to see real growth. The changes are palpable. You see yourself evolving, which can often be a beautiful process. I don’t have it figured out but I know more than I did yesterday. It must be boring to always know. Thought Catalog Logo Mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

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