This is something I feel strongly about, but isn't exactly private either. I'd also love to hear your experiences and opinions.
I'm not "grown up" quite yet, at least I don't feel like it. I'm in that awkward phase where I could drive across the country and start a new life if I wanted, even though I have one still ahead of me here. I struggle with school work, but I also struggle with loved ones. I've talked friends out of suicide yet sometimes I've found myself in that position as well. and I can't tell what I want. I don't know what I want to be, I don't even know if I can handle living the "conventional" life it seems I was born into. Maybe I've having a "mid-teen (age 16-19)" crisis, but it really seems like I've felt this way as long as I could form thoughts that stuck around. I want to see the world, not for it's tourist traps and exaggerated representations of reality, but for it's people. People are so magical with our social interactions and our emotions. Without humans, the earth would still be extraordinarily complex, but significantly less so. Sure, you've got your 5,415 species of mammals, the tens of thousands of plants, and so on; but you don't have anything as complex as the feeling of being cheated on, the feeling of being with friends, the feeling of having too much work to do and hating your job, the euphoria of sex (although dolphins would still be around for this), or the feeling of achieving something great, knowing you did something to change the world for millions.
Then I always remember, even if everyone suddenly stopped giving birth, and you somehow were able to meet one new person per second, it would still take TWO HUNDRED AND TWENTY ONE years to meet them all. Well beyond your lifetime. Not to mention theirs, as this is assuming no one dies anymore either. After all, your life is just one in seven billion. Whatever joy you feel, pain you endure, it's only one in seven billion.
That makes me infinitely sad.
Then I remember this and I get even more sad.
And as a result, I feel lost. I don't know how something so insignificant as the human life, specifically my human life, can result in happiness.
So many people I'll never meet, I really just want to get out there and start meeting them now! Instead, I have to think about College, then getting a Job, then maybe get into a mutually-beneficial relationship with no love involved, then I'll never have time to meet my old friends (if I still remember them), and so on. Wording it that way, it makes me wonder why we don't wish for an earlier death.
So sorry, I don't know what I want to be when I grow up :(
And sorry for being so depressing.
What I can give however, is my biggest fear of "growing up", although it is just as depressing, if not more, than what I wrote above.
It's how weak the human capacity for thought and memories is. Hit your head too hard, and you're a completely different person. If you're really unlucky, you may just go crazy. I know this having talked to too many people who've had TBIs. The former comment about going crazy is a reference to this NFL player who killed himself, leaving a note mentioning how much he felt he'd gone mad from all the head trauma, and begging the NFL to improve helmet design so the pain he'd gone through doesn't ever happen again to anyone else... It's an extremely sad story.
Everything that makes us, well, US, is as fragile as muscle memory and a few synapses in the brain.
Everything we know, every skill we have, the knowledge of everyone we've ever loved and the love we've felt for them, all of it is one bump away from being gone forever. In fact, even decision making isn't the result of your "soul". Maybe some of you once decided to divorce your SO, or maybe you once had to decide whether to keep a loved on on life support. Well, those decisions did not come from the heart. They came from the knowledge and experiences of our life UP TO THAT POINT, and that knowledge and experience ONLY. With that in mind, it makes me realize, that no one is truly evil. Sure no one is good either, but it still is comforting knowing every man or woman who has ever hurt me, hurt you, or hurt anyone only did so out of their nature and their nurture. It was bound to happen, because the universe is just an infinitely complex chain of causes and effects.
Most of the time it doesn't even take a bump. Guess what, ageing also does that to you. That's why I'm so afraid of "growing up". It's hard enough to accept that we'll, say, never be children again, or how we'll never re-experience playground adventures or our first kiss (here's some comedic relief; want to know something embarrassing? I've yet to have mine.. :P) but let alone the thought that said memories of the experiences are just as fleeting!
Then what? We die? The end? That can't be all there is to life right? Everyday, this seems more and more to be the truth though.
Maybe I have more reason to be scared, maybe I'm just paranoid. Once when I was very young (under ten years old), I was on a trip with my parents in Mexico. It was my first time out of country, and from what I remember it was super fun! However, saying "from what I remember" isn't just for dramatic effect, or that it was a long time ago. It was also because I had my first and only TBI myself while on this trip. My Dad took me on a ride along as he played golf, and decided to take a shortcut to the next hole. Now, I love my dad and all, but this was one of his worst ideas. He took the golf cart to a hill that was extremely steep and drove HORIZONTALLY on it. Aaaaaaaand... it flipped. Aaaaaaaaand, my head cracked open.
Well, kids heal right? I healed right? I think I did, but almost all my life, I've suffered from severe OCD, depression, and social anxiety. It was never a huge problem for me, as with the help of therapy at a young age and meds to this day I live (what I assume) is an entirely normal life. What worries me is that none of those illnesses run in my family. None of those plagued me before my injury either.
And some days, when I forget to take my SSRIs, the fear returns that I ought to do all I can now to enjoy life because one day I'll find myself psychotic, not knowing reality from hallucinations.
Some other days, I worry I already am. Maybe you guys don't exist, maybe you do and you guys are all laughing at me behind my back, maybe everyone else is plotting against me to make my life as miserable as can be, maybe maybe maybe maybe.
I take my meds and everything is fine again, but it's all too scary for me.
Some people worry about their legacy. I'm still here wondering what to even do with my life.
Wow, geez sorry for writing all that out but.. wow.