Is this all there is? Or is more coming?
Most of us come to the realization that our lives are not going to pan out to be the epic and revolutionary existence that we had planned. As a result, a pit develops in our stomach, similar to that growing feeling we have each time we are caught doing something wrong. We get that identical feeling because something is wrong. Something is missing. And that something isn’t coming.
Soon after our 22-year-old self discovers she cannot jump into the CEO’s office, that no one has discovered her untapped talent while sitting at a coffee shop, that we aren’t destined to be on the cover Vogue or Time, and we will most likely not make it to the newspaper until we purchase a space for our wedding announcement. We begin to notice those around of who have also fallen short of their aspirations and start to think this decline is inevitable.
So, we go into a silent and painful freakout, where we realize that we can’t help the world. That no matter what we do, a war will still be raging, the homeless will still be picking up plastic bottles and yelling at telephone poles, and our favorite women will be slowly losing their hair to chemotherapy. So, we frantically search for something we can do. We apply to join the peace corps, we volunteer at our local hospital, or even let more people in during our morning commute. But, we can’t satisfy that feeling of isolation, guilt, and helplessness.
Then, we decide that we can’t save the world, so we should save ourselves. We join a gym, we eat more vegetables, and try to read more. We obsess. We dwell on everything little thing that enters our body, trying to become perfect. Because if we’re perfect, maybe the rest of the world will realize we’re here. But nothing happens.
Then, we enter acceptance. We accept the stale and idle lives we lead and we try to forget what we can’t do. We focus on our own family, and the small circle we’ve worked to keep close to us. All the people we distanced ourselves from during our internal breakdown, and we give them all of the deserved attention we held back for the past months or even years. And slowly, we realize that we’ve shared the best version of our self, and in turn, become who we were always supposed to be. We might even discover that we’re happy.