Growing up OK

I usually share here when I’ve come through a hardship,  and learned a lesson.  Not this time.

Instead,  here,  now,  I’m struggling. This is the hardship,  and the lesson seems inherent;yet it disinterests me.

This time I search for a root cause,  to dig into why it’s difficult in general for me to feel anything more than disconnection,  especially when that very connection is what I strive to fertilize.

I really don’t feel comfortable as an adult. When I was a kid,  I always looked at my elders as having this structure,  this foundation that they’d built. It was emotionally sound,  and financially viable.

Yet here I am,  well stuck into my 30s, and I still feel like I’m barely getting started.

Sure,  I’ve quit drugs,  smoking,  and booze. Sure,  I’m healthier and feel stronger.

But I am still a frightened child at heart,  whose best friends are his parents,  as they are the only people who unconditionally love and understand him.

Maybe I feel like I was cut of a different cloth because I am a product of their generation. Maybe I yearn to live in a simpler time without laptops,  texting and the Internet.

It’s made to make our lives easier,  but it just makes the distances between us smaller. This might seem like a good thing,  and while it has that potential,  it also has the opposite effect.  It let’s us hold a measuring stick,  a mirror,  and any other comparison method to stack ourselves up against everyone else.

It’s easy to fall prey to that side of technology,  to crave a connection with everyone else while shirking the one with the most important person in our lives. Ourselves. 

Getting back to that relationship is increasingly difficult while still maintaining our social identity in an urban environment.  There’s a balance to be appreciated and to be cultivated.  It’s too easy to sit on one side of the fence or the other. The dark side is full of self depreciation,  depression,  and poor self worth. The light side is exhausting and impossible to maintain for any length of time.

The middle allows us to keep our own best interests at heart,  and to recognize when we are slipping into poor thought patterns. But instead of relying on our connections and friends,  we should come to rely on ourselves.

This is why working on your own self worth,  healthy coping mechanisms and general wellbeing is not in vain. The benefits aren’t instantly apparent,  but will become vital in times of darkness.

I keep being reminded to breathe. It’s something I’ve read again and again, but always forget in the times I’d benefit from it most. My most recent reminder came in a random blog I came across on Twitter, by Jordan Bates..

To him I am grateful tonight, because he’s helped remind me of the easiest coping mechanism we have at our disposal. The most automatic process in our lives, when consciously practiced, is the most healing benevolence we have available. And it’s always accessible

Tonight I remind myself to breathe, and to not be so hard on myself. Humility and honesty with ourselves are the keys to healthy mindfulness


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