It's pretty often that I feel the need to hold myself accountable. In all aspects of my life. "How am I almost 25 without a clear view of what I want to do in the next five years? three years? three months?" "How do I feign the outward appearance of responsibility?" "If I spend 40% of my time doing things I know are responsible, is the 60% irresponsibility null and void?"
A clear pattern emerges when I think of the number of times I've tried to pull the reins on my youth and forge ahead with traditional tasks and experiences that I have been told will usher in a socially acceptable adulthood. More often than not I'm left with the nagging urge to throw my arms up like that of an ever-so-popular ecard meme and yell at the top of my lungs "I just want to do hoodrat stuff with my friends." Which is code for: "Give me a fucking break. Let me have fun and stop judging my perceived lack of direction and failure to launch. What the fuck does it matter to you, anyway?"
In the wake of my Peter Pan syndrome, I'm left with a mixed bag of emotions because part of me so desperately wants to feel as if I'm taking the right steps in the right direction to have the right things at the right times in my life. Then I think about the number of times I've watched people make all the "right" moves right into depression and loneliness and remember how badly I want to avoid that place at all costs. So what is a semi-directionless girl living in one of the greatest cities in the world with some of the greatest people she's ever met and having such a blast doing it supposed to do with all of these thoughts and emotions? For one, GET THE FUCK OUT OF HER OWN HEAD. That is a scary place to be when you're not 100% sure about anything.. even what kind of sandwich you want to eat for lunch. Grilled cheese...? Hummus and veggie wrap...? Fuck.. maybe tacos instead? How is a girl ever to choose with so many options and opinions and thoughts roaming around in one padded cell?
At this point, with the sandwich decision behind me (hummus and veggies, in case you were wondering), I think it's pretty irresponsible of me to recognize that I'm not ready to make any lifelong commitments or decisions and then beat myself up for not making said commitments and decisions and try to find a loophole that mitigates the guilt I feel for not being ready. I think that it's perfectly acceptable to admit that I'm not in any position to bestow ultimatums on myself or enforce rules on myself that I'm clearly not ready to follow. I think understanding that I'm in a good place - maybe not the best, most lucrative, most prestigious or covetable place, but a good place nonetheless - is probably one of the most reasonable, responsible things I could do for myself at this point in my life. Why should I spend all day devising a plan to reach the adulthood finish line first. What the fuck is that going to prove? And, who the fuck cares enough to need that proof? And, what the fuck is waiting there when I finally reach that finish line? Oh... just some more responsibility disguised as a "real life" in the form of the "American Dream." Got it.
You know what my current American Dream is? To have as much fun as humanly possible without the crippling fear and anxiety about what I'm going to do in five years. Let's hope that in five years I'm living the European Dream as I so choose to define it. That seems much more appealing.