To be young, capable, and free is an intense pressure
Now more than ever, I am frequently arrested by thoughts ordering myself to seize the moment. Telling myself to do it now, now while I am young, free, capable, and not crippled with disease, or old age. While I am unburdened with maternal responsibility. These thoughts are what pushes me to go out into the great outdoors and huff and puff my way up grassy flatlands, through shallow river crossings, and green, lush forest trails, anxious all the while that I didn't bring enough water, or food, or that it might rain and I haven't brought a rain cover, or that I haven't got one.
I see weekends as a time for healing, which I have found as being amongst nature, hiking mountains, wading through lakes and rivers. Chasing waterfalls. I worry about how I have learned to spend my days without meaning. Mindlessly scrolling, swiping, clicking, watching. Then doing it all over again. Maybe one more mountain conquered reassures me that I am still alive, and not just a speck of dust flying through the air, which too soon is gone. Without consequence. Maybe struggling to keep pace with the old, middle-aged local guide wearing worn down flip-flops forces me outside of my head, gives me a respite from the jungle in my mind that I cannot silence.
I think, what must I become to feel fulfilled? To get married, bear children, get promoted, pick good schools for my children, be a doting grandmother? Be a celebrity? Be a philanthropist? More modestly, a volunteer? To live life just by going through the notions was one I certainly could not complain about. Sure, I know there are others with a far worse situation that I am in. It is, in fact, not a situation at all, only a made-up one.
In one hazy, drunken night as I was spilling my guts to a friend (and also, embarrassingly, my tears), I confessed about feeling that her problems were worthless. My friend, younger than me in years but not in maturity, looked at me kindly and said, if you feel it so strongly, let nobody tell you it is worthless. Because to you it is a big deal. If it is a big deal to you, it is. By that I was comforted. But in opportune times the feeling of utter pettiness, of selfishness, creeps in, and I will be back inside my head, stomping down the eternal mutterings asking myself why I'm here.