Sunday, June 16, 2013

Age of Commencement

August 10, 2011

“You have to do your own growing up, no matter how tall your grandfather was.”
-Abraham Lincoln

By my calculations, it’s been about 2 and a half months since my previous blog entry. For those of you wondering what I’ve been up to since late May, the answer’s simple: I’ve been growing up.
I’m not quite sure how this phenomenon occurred, but it seems that despite my consistent childhood urgings that “I’m a Toys ‘R Us kid,” I have suddenly and undeniably left the dust of my adolescence behind me.
This is not to imply that my previous life was a poor one, by any means. Quite the contrary, in fact.
My reflective nature has always created a natural inclination towards nostalgia, and though my teenage years and early 20s were marked largely by inner turmoil, low self-esteem and the frustrating cocktail of fear and loneliness (are you as tired as I am of hearing me lament the regrets of the past?), I count myself lucky for having a wholly uncomplicated and considerably character-building life up to this point.
However, while time has surely proved itself the world’s most effective teacher, there is an air of particular progress about the here and now.
In the last year – hell, even the last six months – the people around me, including longtime friends and family members, have embarked on a number of grown-up pursuits and taken tremendous leaps of faith in their personal and professional lives. Specifically in my own life, I have cast aside a number of my longtime fears and worries in favor of taking that next natural step towards the happiness that I have chased in vain for so very long.
In retrospect, it’s easy to be intimidated by how much life has changed in such a short period of time. I suppose life has a way of sneaking up on us so that we never realize what the point of it all is until we arrive at our destination. If you’re like me, then you’ve probably had moments where you’ve second-guessed the direction your life was going. You might have wondered if a particular area of your life (or sector – more on that in an upcoming blog entry!) was ever going to pan out or if you were doomed to misery in that department.
But, like so many other things, the only way you can truly achieve happiness is to swallow your pride, cage your reservations and confront it head-on, regardless of the potential failure and emotional devastation that may result.
A decade ago, my graduation from high school was intended to signal my commencement, an entrance into “the real world.” But for me, the past ten years haven’t really felt like the adulthood I envisioned for myself. Rather, it’s been a journey of self-discovery and lessons learned, as I conducted a rigorous round of soul-searching to figure just who the hell I am inside and recapture the strength and joy of life that defined my childhood.
Integrating a childlike fascination with and appreciation for everything you have with the expectations society has for a mature adult and the responsibilities that entails is trickier than it sounds, believe me.
Yet, as I look back on how far my family, friends and I have come in 2011, I feel an overwhelming sense of pride and astonishment. We’ve all truly grown up and become even more amazing adults than I had imagined in my youth. And as I peek ahead at the exciting future that awaits, I can’t help but look forward to what lies in store for us all.
Bring it, adulthood. I’m officially ready for you.

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