*This post is post-date September 25, 2013…needless to say, a lot has happened since then. I promise I will update this eventually…
When I was younger and thought about growing up, I always imagined it as a type of switch: one day you’re a kid, the next day you’re an adult. no fuss, no time for reflection, just an immediate acceptance of what you knew was coming. What I‘ve come to find is that growing older is a much slower transition that begins with more and more added responsibilities until the kid that you once were has to wear stilts to match the height of his big boy pants and has to tighten his belt around the pillow he tucked against his belly to fill them out. His tie is too long and the shoulder pads to his suit jacket make it look like he’s wearing armor; but he’ll grow into them. I’ve learned that there are several roads that can be taken at this point. The first is that the boy can simply refuse to grow up, the second is to abandon all the innocence of childhood to make room for what’s perceived as the more adult world. The third is, not surprisingly, more of a mixture of the two and takes the form of becoming a smarter kid. It’s learning to listen and respect your parent’s advice while still being annoyed because they’re right, it’s preparing yourself for the future by pursuing your career while still enjoying a Lion King rerun on TV and remembering all the words. It’s finding the love of your life and building your future together and still being scared to death because you left your safety net back home with your posters and stick-on stars. You can only hope that you’re ready; but at the same time you realize that you have to be, because here you are, 200 miles away unpacking a U-Haul that left your room back home with a faint echo and the walls bare. Today is the day that Brandon and I build a home together. Today is the day that family ties stretch farther than they’ve ever stretched before, the day we unpack boxes and paint the off-white walls of our apartment with their contents. Today is the day I begin to fully appreciate what my parents meant each time they said “you’ll understand when you’re older,” and the day that I finally do. Today more than ever, I go to seek my Great Perhaps and realize that the Great Perhaps isn’t a place or destination but a direction, any direction, forward.
“Have Ithaka always in your mind.
Your arrival there is what you are destined for.
But don’t in the least hurry the journey.
Better it last for years,
so that when you reach the island you are old,
rich with all you have gained on the way,
not expecting Ithaka to give you wealth.
Ithaka gave you a splendid journey.
Without her you would not have set out.
She hasn’t anything else to give you.”