First, they said high school. You’d find your place among the diverse student body. A table to comfortably sit at during lunch. Your friends would support you in your extracurricular activities, and you’d reciprocate that loving energy.
Then, they said college. You are positively destined to flourish in this expansive environment. Sports games, classes, parties, friends; everything is going to sort itself out. No need to fear. You are more than ready to take on the world!
Then they said the workplace. You’ll settle down. You’ll go to the bar with friends at 5, and snuggle up in your studio apartment by 10. The city lights pierce your window, laughter roaring on the sidewalk.
Finally they said marriage. The apex of human life. Your beloved will hold your hand, a promise of forever links you for eternity. Roses petals scattered across the floor. Smiles, tears, a union of everlasting love.
But they never told you about the bullies. The depression. Getting fired. Divorce. They never spoke of resentful stares, utter confusion, a lack of passion dwelling in your chest. When do we all figure it out? The answer cannot be confined to a school, a job, or a person. We are perpetually in the process of figuring things out. Ever-evolving, transforming, fluid beings, unrestricted by a set of milestones. There is no timeline for happiness! You are not a series of dates and deadlines. You are not your school, your significant other, or job. You are perfectly imperfect, humanity resides in your unique existence. Don’t live life seeking the promise of the future; this idealistic harmony is merely a mirage. Find the beauty in now. Focus your energy in the present moment. Today, it is quite enough to simply be alive.