this is the second installment in a series called, “Entry Level Maturity.” The first installment didn’t know it was an installment. If you missed it, check it out. It’s called, It Only Matters What You Do With It. After I shared the first post, I realized I had a whole lot to say about this and was encouraged to do so, hence the out of order introduction.
This series is for those of us who have made it to adulthood, looked around, and said, “Wait…I must have missed something!” Maybe you aren’t like me. Maybe you’ve made it to adulthood feeling right smart about yourself. I can’t imagine what that must be like. If that’s you, don’t bother to waste your time on this. Go and do something else very mature and adultish like write things in your planner, exercise, or wear fashionably sensible shoes.
But… maybe you are like me and have made it through some years only to realize that you have holes in your understanding of how things work; those moments where you realize that you’ve been doing it wrong and don’t know how to do it right. These moments are not fun. They make you feel like something inside you is terribly fractured. They make you ask questions like, “For Hank’s sake! What in the world is so wrong with me that I can’t figure out how to be normal?”
Maybe you were raised with abuse, trauma, pain, or loss. Maybe you have bio/neuro-chemical/hormonal issues. Maybe the adults in charge of you had yet to master the fine art of adulting themselves. Maybe you were forced into adult responsibilities before you had the years for the job. Or, maybe you grew up surrounded by really great adultish adults and you’ve just made some crappy, derailing choices
Regardless of the why, one thing I feel pretty confident about is that you are not alone. A dear friend recently reminded me that really, we’re all amateurs in the maturity game. I like that. I like knowing that none of us have this whole thing figured out yet. Mostly because the thought that I’m the only one saying, “Wait… I must have missed something…” is a little intimidating. I have spent a lot of time with a lot of very different kinds of people, and based on conversations I’ve had, one thing I’ve come to understand is that no matter how together folks look, most of them have spent their fair share of make-believe adulting. I have come to feel pretty confident that regardless of race, color, sex, creed, or socio-economic status we have all had those moments when we feel ill-equipped to handle all the situations that require maturity. You know what I mean: the decisions, the emotions, the relationships, etc. But what are these situations if not opportunities? Opportunity to test us, strengthen us, to help us grow. Opportunities to enter into maturity.
In this series, I will be exploring some of the, “aha moments,” I’ve had. This is not a tell-you-what-to-do kind of thing because Hank knows I’m still figuring that out myself. I once heard of a Buddhist koan that said something to the affect of, “If you meet the Buddha, kill him.” It means, of course, that if you think you’ve got it all figured out, you’re wrong, (tell that to the fashionably sensible shoe wearing friends of yours). I’d prefer a discussion. Some of the things I’ll talk about here are super rudimentary… because… frankly, I missed a lot. Some of the things I learned from other folks who were farther down the road and willing to share. Others, I straight up paid good money for. I’m sharing what I’ve learned, but if you have something to add or argue, please do. After all, we are all amateurs; we are all entering, and this is: Entry Level Maturity.