As you age you find a lot of things fall and fail. Your skin and you spirit can fall. You fail to feel part of the world. We are so obsessed with youth here I feel. The youth are the future, the youth are the creators. Young people get to create. Create themselves. Create the world. Create the future. They are still making themselves, that is the key. They are still becoming. They are not set. Then at some age you are suddenly expected to exist be set. You are no longer approaching the world, you are part of it. Is that fair? Is that right? Is that in anyway a representation of reality? I don’t think so, anyone is ever set, I don’t think we stop changing and developing, we are just expected to, so we pretend to. And as with all things, if we pretend to do something for long enough we can sometimes forget we are pretending, forget that the world is wrong and it is what is inside us that is real. We start to think what inside us is wrong.
But what’s inside you is not wrong.
These feelings creep on you, they do not suddenly leap up, they slip into your thinking slowly but surely. One day your anxieties and worries about what your life will become just seem a little silly, they feel like they have just been around for a bit too long. It becomes clear that your anxieties are not a journey, they are not really a stepping stone or a necessity, they are just a thing. A seemingly permanent but probably useless thing.
A seemingly permanent but probably useless thing.
Permanence, however, can often masquerade as importance. The longer something has been the more integral it feels to all else that surrounds it. If we pull down the monarchy maybe the whole nationhood will collapse in on itself! If we reform institutions the world will fall apart! If I solve my problems, my anxieties and insecurities, if I stop my mood swings and my panics, which have been with me all this time, I’ll lose my creativity, I’ll lose my interest, I’ll lose my personality. I’ll lose it all.
You know, I’ve heard plenty of people talk about this fear. Almost all of them talk about it in the past tense and talk about how they found it was nonsense. When they got over their issues with this or that drug or this or that compulsive thought or behavior they came out on the other side with their creativity and their personality intact. But I guess, maybe, the ones that lost it wouldn’t be talking would they? They wouldn’t be being interviewed about their great creativity if they’d lost it. You don’t really interview the failures.
Maybe we should. That would be a more realistic picture of the world.
Interview the failures. Talk to the failures. Admit the failures.