What I mean is, does the act of wishing for your optimum existence, and actively chasing that which would allow you to exist in that world with your eyes wide open, a child’s pursuit?

Once you turn 18, you become an adult in the eyes of society, and definitely that of the law. Whether you get to continue to pursue your dreams beyond that point, often depends on your environment. That usually involves having a support system made up of family, parents, or friends, that are willing to help keep a roof over your head, while you give your all to chasing your ideal situation. It may be that education, sport, or some other talent, has enabled you to sustain yourself beyond high school, while you continue to work towards your goals. But without that, and beyond the years of 18 to 23, if you are not ‘well on your way’ to your envisioned life, career, or goals, are you still supposed to yearn for more than your current existence? Or is the ‘adult’ thing to do, setting aside ‘childish’ hopes and fantasies, to better accept the present?

For many of us, turning eighteen was a wake-up call, complete with the resounding clang of adult responsibilities landing squarely on our teen shoulders. Suddenly, rent, groceries, and work became our day-to-day, while whatever path we desired beyond this, became squarely up to us to make happen. Things got tough, things got real, and we would have to figure it all out on our own, from now on. For those of us that didn’t climb as high as we’d imagined, and who remain dissatisfied with things being ‘as good as it’s going to get,’ once we are no longer in our late teens or early 20s, should we stop yearning for more? Is life easier when you contend with what you have, instead of constantly trying to reach further?

I pose this question because I honestly don’t know what the answer should be. Part of me believes that it varies depending on the person, and part of me wonders if there is a time by which the answer should be the same for all.

I am the dichotomy of someone who categorically refuses to accept what is, while also consistently trying to be like everyone else; aka normal. On one hand, I stubbornly push myself towards what I believe my life should be when it comes to health, self-discipline, and education. I was born chronically ill, and yet I refuse to live a life of disability. Instead, I keep driving myself towards a series of costly short-term solutions health-wise, which cumulatively allow me to increase my quality of life. Rather than, giving into a medically predicted decline in health as years go by. Although, since there isn’t a cure, doing so would have burdened me a lot less, financially.

I spent years not doing much other than working full-time, going to school, and trying to manage the toll doing both was taking on my health. Through it all, I refused to give up on my health, or my education and looking back on that time I’m not sure how I got through it on my own.

But the flip side of this overzealousness is that I don’t generally allow myself free rein to do what I want with my time. I never bet on myself, and invest in my person, and career, the way I have spent my entire adulthood investing in my health and education. And I don’t quite understand why I have such a hard time believing that I have every right to experience personal and professional joy.

Truthfully, I want to cause ripples that will transform myself and hopefully others, whether the scale is big or small. To keep trying to achieve this, I think that I need to fearlessly refuse to stay in situations that would prevent that growth, that change, and those visions of having a life of meaning, from coming true. Although I’m currently struggling to regain clarity, I believe that I need to keep daydreaming for as long as I can, and I just hope that I never reach a junction where dreams do need to make way for maturity.        

What got me through the years spent toiling away in various full-time jobs and working my way through school was my vision of where my career would go. The time sacrificed and debt incurred was meant to grant me the normalcy in my career trajectory that I couldn’t make mine in other parts of my existence. After chasing a dream for most of my lifespan, and spending most days working towards it, it still isn’t my reality. This has left my ideals feeling frayed, and made my perception of what should be, cloudy and unsure.

Maybe because I have been fighting most of my days just to live somewhat normally, I have a slightly off-kilter vision of when things are ‘good enough’. So, I ask, when do you stop trying to change the world with your own presence, and instead start putting that energy into that of the next generation? When does a dissatisfying job, poor career options, or lacklustre relationships simply become some of the disadvantages of living an otherwise responsible and settled existence? Is my never being okay with a lack of growth, respect, love, or valuation, a sign of immaturity? Or is it that the idealistic child that I was, became an idealistic adult that has never stopped wanting to impact the world around her?

                                                            An original blog by: