Can “transition phase” be a perpetual state?
I’m still struggling to figure out what I am, what I’m supposed to do, what my personality and abilities best serve. But I feel like that’s all I ever do. And I’m not sure this is “normal”.
I know not-all-that-deep down I’m supposed to forge my own path, figure out something that is uniquely me. And clearly, there’s a substantial, stubborn part of me that does, and has always done, just that.
But: I find doing my own thing lonely and terrifying. The moments when I feel I’m actually doing something unrecognisably unique aren’t triumphant for very long, and aren’t really fun. The path I forge keeps hewing close to, or criss-crossing with, the paths of others. My forging keeps getting distracted, thrown off, magnetised and repelled. It’s crooked and punch-drunk, resentful of others and myself for how I’m handling things.
I want to have the perspective of future hindsight… I want to know now, please.
The truth is: just as often, I feel the need to belong, to fit in; to have a baseline from which I can then express something unique, an established framework within which to have a personality. Because feeling uncertain about everything, all the time, is so exhausting, so white-knuckle, that i can’t afford to have a sense of humour about anything else.
But clearly, “fitting in” isn’t for me. Every time I try, it’s like trying to sit awkwardly in an uncomfortable chair with no leg room and a missing armrest. After a while, the muscles begin to cramp, and the mood begins to sour, and the outlook begins to bleaken (is that a word? It is now). And it’s me forcing myself into these shapes, no-one else. So the day when I finally spring out of that chair, sprained and irate, I’m growling at no-one else, because I can’t blame others for not accepting the me I was just trying too hard to be.
In other words:
I’m more conservative than I’d like to be, but not conservative enough to make life easier for myself.
I can feel my old desires / goals / notions melting away – and these days, I can feel myself beginning to accept, really accept, that this is only a good thing. I panic of course, because panic is what I do, that new desires / goals / notions have yet to replace the old ones – that I may be a hollow vessel, and that that may not be a temporary or transient state. But the comforting, terrifying truth is: I’m once again entering a personal, unique segment of path. It’s unfamiliar because it’s new, it’s forward, it’s my own. I can’t tell myself or anyone else how it looks, what it really is, with any kind of self-awareness, because I can’t step back far enough from it to get a clear picture. The only progress I can feel I’ve made is: I know enough now to know I’ll know more later. As I said: comforting, terrifying.
I want, as I can imagine most do, to have the perspective of future hindsight. I don’t want to have to wait and see which moments were the steps and what they were leading to; I want to know now, please. I want to go through high school knowing which shit will and won’t matter in the adult world beyond. I want to chill about the things and the people that just won’t be a thing in a few years from now. And I want to savour the things that absolutely will.
I have no neat way to wrap this up – not in this moment. It’s a work-in-progress, and I can’t yet see the full picture.