Twenty-two is a weird age. I’m very much a kid and I feel that truth in my bones. I stay up unreasonably late, dance for so long at bars that my feet hurt in the morning, and accept invitations to practically every social opportunity over enthusiastically. I require at least two days of my mom’s pep talks before doctor’s appointments and avoid setting up a 401k because I can’t imagine parting with fifty dollars of fun money every month… money I quite easily justify spending on fancy candles or concert tickets.
Interestingly enough, this kid lifestyle is pretty new to me. Anyone acquainted with me at seventeen can attest to that. I’ve always been a thinker, at times for better and at times for worse. Obsessed with my own anxiety, my responsibility to save the world, and my desperation for the approval of others, I sacrificed the possibility of experience in a years-long attempt to figure out what it “means” to be alive… the purpose of the human experience. Luckily though, I failed. I wrote about it, I read about it, I cried about it.
I’m done philosophizing my way out of life, because it doesn’t work. I can read and write about social theory, ponder with the smartest friends I have for hours about how relationships are supposed to work, develop staunch opinions on the importance of maintaining strict standards for human interaction… and then still end up with my heart-broken when a boy changes his mind about me. The silliest of young adult moments, the kind I was sure I was above… there’s no running from them. No opinion in the world, even the most beautiful words from your favorite poet, can safeguard you from experience. Because it is life itself, not the analysis of it, that cultivates and sets a flame under truth.
How about we plant ourselves here, right where we are? I’m learning to develop my “life theories” while I live, not before I live. I don’t want to float above experience and comment while the rest of the world dances or suffers.. because my feet are planted here and I want to soak it all in like the burning rays of the sun. I’m done living a life of ideas and turning it in for a life grounded in moments, because as it turns out you can’t distance yourself from your own story… and I’m tickled to have discovered that life has been chasing me for quite a while.