When I was a kid I looked up to functioning people in the realm of middle age and thought of them as well-adjusted adults who had this whole life thing figured out. Who, other than someone of utmost competence, could juggle and master the varied demands of gainful employment, being a good spouse and parent, and maybe even a hobby or volunteer opportunity here and there?
And now, as I close in on middle age, I am constantly asking whether I gave the adults of my youth too much credit or whether I am negligent in fulfilling my own responsibilities. I constantly hear that voice telling me I am lacking in one area, and then upon refocusing efforts and compensating for my shortcomings, I hear the voice directing my attention elsewhere, to my most recent failing. So I keep juggling, dropping the ball and hoping to pick it up again before too many people notice. An illusionist can fool hundreds yet dwell on the few who see beyond his facade—and deep down he himself will know he is only one bad showing away from revealing his terrible truths and so he can never rest easily.
How much of this insecurity is natural and universal to all who have ever reached the legal age of majority and beyond? How much of it is due to Millennial infantilism? How much of it is specific to me and my own neuroses? Can one ever answer such questions? Does it make any difference to do or attempt so?
As I near the hill, I am still waiting for the surety of adulthood. Is that all being an adult really is—a waiting game played while moving on about one's life?
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