Life gets easier as you get older. This is one thing I am sure of. I watch the trials and tribulations of adolescence every day and I remember. I remember how it was. And it is easier now. Or maybe it is not easier, maybe perspective really makes all the difference. Sometimes things that are so confusing seem really clear if you just take a different seat at the table. I enjoyed high school just fine. I think I did all the things I was supposed to do, good and bad. I enjoyed college too, though the ups and downs there were a bit more dramatic at each extreme. And I did all the things I was supposed to do. And all the things I wasn’t. And as I have done other stuff in my life I have found it often to be initially challenging. No. Actually, freaking difficult. But eventually, it all evens out in the end. Just like Seinfeld said:
Jerry : Yeah, I know; like yesterday I lost a job, and then I got another one, and then I missed a TV show, and later on they re-ran it. And then today I missed a train, went outside and caught a bus. It never fails! I always even out!
And each successive step is met with a similar sentiment, “Man, I can’t believe I thought — was such a big deal, that was nothing. Now this, THIS is really something.” It all is what it is. And it is all just scenery along the way anyhow. It is nice to have cool shit to look at for sure, but in the end it comes back to us. Imagine how UNscary things would seem, like totally NOT daunting, if we trusted that we would always break even in the end (because you do, but you never believe until after the fact… Shakespeare couldn’t have written better irony.)
Then there is this added pressure to be all that you can be, and do all that you should do, and get all that you can get. And all the measuring up and the attendant pressure – in one of his most salient interviews [that I have seen] Marilyn Manson summed it up pretty well: “you’re watching television, you’re watching the news, you’re being pumped full of fear, there’s floods, there’s AIDS, there’s murder, cut to commercial, buy the Acura, buy the Colgate, if you have bad breath they’re not going to talk to you, if you have pimples, the girl’s not going to fuck you” I guess it is the fear of not breaking even that messes everything up and gets in the way of the natural cycle of equanimity. Not to mention the problem of not recognizing the equanimity when it happens. But it certainly seems to keep on happening in spite of our manipulations.
Jerry : You know, life is amazing…
Kramer : You know who you are? Even Steven