Friday, October 23, 2009

The (Fettered) Quest For Adulthood

I just concluded a conversation with a friend that started out as casual and enjoyable, and turned into something that left me questioning my capabilities and investments in particular frienships. This is a bitter, bitter taste in my mouth, as I deem myself someone who takes great care to keep in contact and to do little things for my friends that not only help them, but show them that I care deeply.

It IS possible to be someone who is both opinionated and accepting, rash yet caring, outspoken yet a good listener, modivated yet in balance when it comes to making time with friends, flighty in action yet grounded in sense of purpose, creative and out of ordinary yet respectful of ordinary choices.

I think a lot of people in our age group are beginning to operate under an idea of adulthood that is not complete. Adulthood is not JUST getting married and buying a house (as an aside, I would like to state that I not only see nothing WRONG with those things, I think they are wonderful things that can bring a lot of people a lot of joy, but my thoughts on that should be obvious to anyone who knows me well enough to know that I maintain opinions but NOT judgement), it is much more - it is a process of refining how you interact with the world around you. And that includes the people in it.

This can also be thought of as maturity. I think maturity is another concept that many people our age think they possess, when certain elements are either missing or inappropriately assessed. People who are mature can also be people who dress silly just for the fun of it, people who do not have a 'proper' job in order to allow other elements of life to take precedence, people who randomly get in their car for day-long road trips just because they had the urge. In order to be mature, people who do these things also; make sure that their silly dress fits within the codes of the places where they work, they carefully plan how their job can provide them with a steady income to do other things, they make sure that the random road trip does not directly affect other people close within their life or their work schedule.

An element of being mature at this age is to be able to comfortably state an opinion or personal issue to someone they trust or deem a friend, knowing the other person (if they too possess this element) will be able to understand that talking about such things is coming from a good place and not one of accusation. No matter how 'adult' the job, the dwelling, the relationship situation - if one chooses to talk about people to others rather than to the person themself this important element of adulthood - maturity - has not yet been found.

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