I do not want to sink – I only wish to grow

I spend a lot of time just trying to get through. I have come to view this stage of my life as an in-between; I see it as a stage of waiting to figure out what I am going to do with my life – when I am going to become who I’m going to be in the world. I feel as if I have no real place in the world yet, and I focus on all the things I am not: I am not a child, I am not a college student, I am not tied down to anything, I am not financially independent, I am not sure what my life will be like in two months, I am not ready to settle down, I am not capable of doing things on my own, I don’t know how to make important life decisions, I don’t know how to be a real adult, I don’t feel qualified to get a job in my major, and I don’t know what I want; I’m just not ready for life. But whether or not I like it, life is happening every second – the world is brilliant and vibrant all around me, and I don’t know how to love it, appreciate it, celebrate it, or interact with it. I am just biding my time – waiting for…something – who knows what. All of these uncertainties have been detrimental to my self-esteem. I don’t feel important or needed or belonging or strong or intelligent, and I often do not feel loved. This dilemma seems to plague most people my age. Being 20-something can be absolutely painful. There seems to be this expectation society has for all the 20-somethings to have it together – to know what they want, get a job, have money, be confident, know all the answers, take initiative, and start a responsible adult life. Not only is this altogether unrealistic, but it’s also not what I want. I am not ready to settle into life; I want to go and see and do. I want to find out how my interests and passions meet action. And maybe this is found in just living – just taking time to see the world bend and sway and grow and die and hurt and heal. I want to be somewhere and feel something that is beautiful and new. I want to gracefully skirt the edge of uncertainty and freedom. I want to feel the essence of gratitude deep within my heart. I am slowly realizing that I will likely never have it all together. Maybe life is meant to be a cluster of the world and all its parts becoming acquainted with the whole. Maybe fear and hurt and longing are carried in the wind and cycled through our bodies in breathing. These deep feelings are a piece of simply living. Within this whirlwind of being alive, I often get the feeling that I am sinking – or that I am floating; the sensations are strikingly similar. I do not want to float idly through. It’s easy to let emotions and fears and sadness halt your progress and leave you waiting still and silent for these things to leave. The truth is they aren’t going anywhere. Their look and feel may change, but they follow us like a shadow. But there is also joy; and joy can be found in the hard things as well. These feelings are heavy and light; they change and remain. They are what make us human. And in the midst of all of this, I do not want to sink – I only wish to grow.

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