Apr 4, 2011

20



"I don't believe, by any means, that I've even begun to do what's inside me."
- Peter Sellers in a press conference c. late 1960's (makes him around 40)

A family member was telling me (in a gentler way than this) that
I don't know myself
I need to wake up
I'm almost 20 years old
stop being so idealistic

Since these are things I've heard from myself, it bothered me that someone else was saying them.

I'd been telling Family Member how I felt bad about being a college drop-out (for now) and living with my parents (for now) and working at Taco Bell (for now). (And then there's the feeling bad about feeling bad like, what? do I think I'm entitled to more? blah blah blah)
They pointed out, as if I'd forgotten (I had), that no one forced me to leave college.

I'm 20, and I know I'm only 20. But I'm remembering something Charlotte Bronte said about your morning being a template for your day and if you haven't accomplished anything by 12noon, the whole day's shot.

I don't even remotely agree, but it still gets me nervous.

When my mom was my age, she was in Baja, Mexico with people who wore only white and ate only fruits and nuts. My dad was posing nude for art classes. The two of them met and lived in a teepee for a while before going to a night church service and getting affiliated and married and having 8 kids and voting Republican.
So there's no telling.

Usually when I think of no telling, it's a happy feeling clenched around enormous fear, like
it's not too late for things to get really good
even though it's not too late for things to get really awful.

I remember what I wore for my 6th birthday and how, before the party --- you have to know what I wore? a white pink-cuffed shirt with a rose patch on the chest and a denim vest --- how before the party I was propped up on my hands on the bathroom counter in front of the mirror in total admiration; I couldn't believe what a great, beautiful, cool, delightful Thing I was, and I remember trying to imagine myself as an adult - how much more great/beautiful/cool/delightful I'd be.

At 20 I'm still 6 but without so much self-satisfaction; with the idea of being tremendously g/b/c/d by, say, 30, (even though it's not too late for things to get really awful).

Last night, I looked back in my journal to see what I'd written about turning 19:
"Scared of 19. But always scared. It's ok."

And I'd written down something Captain Kirk apparently said:
"You have so much to learn. Learn it."

That made me buck at first, seemed agressively rigorous, reminded me of the Charlotte Bronte noon quote.
But then, it's different, like
It's ok that you have a lot to learn and will never learn all of it or any of it by 12noon. Just go on ahead and go on ahead.

Captain's orders.

This morning I'm going to a (free!) tax-help appointment at the Pentecostal Church. It seems pretty symbolically dreary to be doing taxes on your birthday, but the appointment's at 9 and we'll be long-done by noon and
there's the rest of the day

2 comments:

  1. Um, in the face of such wonderfulness of thought, I have to admit I got you a pair of socks for your birthday (as you'll see on e-mail).

    Bo-o-o-o-o-o-o-ring.

    Yes.
    BUT.
    They are not just any socks. They are Coolmax hiking socks for walking 800 kilometers across northern Spain, looking for Kirkcake.

    Please don't stop being so idealistic, at least not until after Spain. I want to walk with someone who believes, like I do, that the human adventure is just beginning.
    (Even if it's late in the afternoon, as it is for me at 50.)

    As some blogger once said, "I love you; I can't wait to meet you!"
    Frex

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  2. You write like an angel, really. I could see a future for you in that. I live with the fear too- I have had my triumphs and disappointments, although they might not look so large to anyone else. You don't stop in life, so there is not so much a getting to a pinnacle and continuing there.

    That said, I do hope you do something with your considerable talent.

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