My life is easier than it has ever been. I have all of the basics in my life: health insurance, a comfortable home, clothes that keep me warm in winter and clothes that keep me cool in summer. I drive a reliable car (yay!). I live in a safe neighborhood in a country where there is no war. My refrigerator and cupboards are full. I have a great job. I have friends and family. I have my health (thank you thank you thank you). My daughter is healthy and happy. I have a great education, and my daughter is being educated, too.
So, anything that I say now might come off as whining, and I know it. Maybe all that I have is a case of first world problems and I ought to be quiet and just sit here counting my blessings. Please know that I know how lucky I am, and that everything I say is within that context.
(Reminder: I had cancer, and then I got divorced, and a couple of years ago I spent a few months being unemployed. I know what real problems look like, because I've experienced them. I also work in an industry where I see people who are truly, deeply suffering in their lives, so I have that context. Even at my lowest, I have been lucky. I know.)
Here's the thing: I keep being surprised at how hard it is to be a grownup.
Now that my life is more together than it has ever been, and now that I'm happier than I've ever been, I find myself startled that it's not always rainbows and unicorns. I've been feeling guilty about it (see above), but I think that guilt is highly overrated so I'm trying to get past the guilt into something more.
I think that I'm hitting on a universal truth: that being a grownup is just really hard. Really, really hard, actually. Impossibly difficult. And maybe it's that impossibility that I forgot about: perhaps it really is impossible to reach the GrownUpNess that I strive for, and that only in letting go of my vision of what it means to be a grownup can I be truly happy.
I want to live my life fully, deeply, to the utmost. I want to squeeze every last drop from my life, feeling all of the joy, the hope, and the possibility of my life. I want to learn all that I can from life. I want to leave the world a better place than when I found it. I want to parent my daughter in such a way that what I teach her will be a beautiful foundation upon which she can build her life (instead of finding out down the road that she needs to unlearn the harmful lessons of childhood). I want to face my career with positive intention, rather than waking up every day dreading the drudgery.
And I want my laundry room to look like this, and my abs to look like that:
But dear readers, I struggle! I mean, I really do.