Indefinite Space: A Journal of a Confused…Young Adult?

Sometimes, I feel as if I am floating in a deep chasm of immeasurable space. My spirit lingers somewhere within the vale between two peaks. With Neil Young’s “Sugar Mountain” residing on the far left, I nostalgically glance over at the balloon-shaped animals and sweet chocolate ice cream scoops. Laughter so pure, a brilliant hue palette, is reflected in the baby blue sky. 


Further down the slopes, but still in the terrain of minimal responsibility, the path becomes rigid and rocky. From the ages of 12-18, children become adolescents and form their identity. A sense of self is discovered. Stretches of land I have already explored - territory I have already mastered. I shift my gaze to the blurry grey mold rising above the earth’s surface on my right. They call this mountain, ‘adulthood.’ I reach out my hand almost far enough to touch it, but it barely scrapes the surface. Entrance is a privilege to be earned, but I have yet to figure out how. Instead, I remain in this ambiguous, ‘in-between’ stage that lacks a well-defined title. Cambridge Dictionary labels a young adult as, “a person who is in their late teenage years or early twenties.” I, however, am left dissatisfied with its simplicity. 


Photo via Pixabay


18-25. While legally an adult, the two small training wheels hooked onto my tail would claim otherwise. College years. For most, this period is marked by a transition between all we have come to know and all we want to be. While the mountains on the left are nothing but static ghostly shadows of what was, our future journey is malleable. The rock continues to shape-shift, inspired by all of the seemingly small choices we make in the present. This is a period of foundation building. 


While I so desperately wish I held all of the answers, the truth is, I have not found my ‘calling’. I have yet to stumble upon the gold I like to call passion, despite how far deep I have dug thus far. Sometimes, I question whether I will ever find it. Sometimes, I question whether ‘it’ even exists. More deeply, I wish I had the wisdom to help you, dear reader, find your gold. If only I knew where to look… My somber elegy. 


Photo by Die_Sonja


There remains, however, one last reflection I find worthy of contemplation. Carl Rogers, a humanistic psychologist, differentiates between the ideal-self and the actual-self. 


The ideal-self is the version of ourselves that we feel we need to be in order to be accepted. By attending to definitions of worth that are not our own, we lose trust in ourselves and our intuition. The actual-self, on the other hand, is who we truly are. It encompasses all that energizes us. It is authenticity. It is the silenced whispers beneath the blaring music of confusion. It is a fragment of our being that knows what we want. 


Photo by Keiblack


I’d like to believe that somewhere within its midst lies the gold we’ve been searching for all this time. Young Adulthood… What a peculiar term indeed.