I used to think that I should spend my twenties determining my basic life tenets, maxims and deal-breakers so that, when I finally hit thirty, I can begin applying them. Lately though, I have been finding myself becoming increasingly anxious as my twenties come to a close, because it has come to my attention that I still have absolutely no idea what I am doing.
Don't get me wrong--this decade has not been without lessons. With each victory, as well as every let-down, heartbreak, and disaster, I find myself getting schooled. Sometimes I have to learn a lesson several times before it sticks, each time kicking myself because the last time I swore to myself that it would never happen again. I feel pressure to figure myself and the world (or, at least my world) out before I hit the big three-oh, when--I don't know--the stakes become higher, or something like that. Whatever the source of the pressure, it can be hard to think straight amid it.
But maybe it's the pressure I should be looking at. Perhaps if I can maintain the wherewithal to look at each individual moment of learning a little more light-heartedly and with a little bit more self-compassion (and maybe even a sense of humor) that pressure to know everything by a rapidly-approaching deadline will, with any luck, begin to fall away.
Besides, the older I get the more apparent it becomes that nobody really has anything truly figured out. We're all, in our own ways, frantically racking our brains, wishing for the proverbial Cliff's Notes.