Adulthood used to be a process until I realized adulthood, to me, came in one exact moment rather than snapshots of them.
Of course, it’s prettier in my head. Ideals usually are. The pivotal moment which defines the adult in me was and will always be city lights. Its a little funny, this entity of my choosing – city lights are after all, just lights. Yet, they signify to me the heartbeats of a city, the identity of place filled with people with new dreams, old dreams, broken dreams, never endless streaming of dreams which personify the possibilities and, at the same time, impossibilities of life. City lights are all of that and more. When I amble through CBD after work and look up to the mammoth skyscrapers with windows lit up sporadically, sometimes alternating between floors, I am reminded of how lives are differently lived with parallel storylines. I still believe we are more similar than different – each with our own perceived struggles and vain ambitions – we are after all extremely vain creatures, Adam and Eve told us that much, who are constantly producing, directing and acting in our own melodrama. It is in our transient lives where we fight for the momentous and beautiful and regardless of how one finds that beauty – be it preening the body or mind – we are in this world together whether we like it or not.
I have been reading a book on the fallibilities of our brain. The author opines that we often construct our own realities even though reality is but a word mistakenly construed. There is no such thing as reality; only what our mind has constructed after being bombarded with the senses (sight, smell, etc). After all, memories are often blurred and sensations are usually heightened to the hyperreal but as of now (yes, right at this juncture), I know this to be true. I no longer look from high rise buildings at city lights with alienation or fear. Instead, I feel as if I have been accepted into the inner circle and are finally part of the city. The lights are now welcoming and friendly. They dance around me and I, with the light joy in me revel in them.
This is adulthood to me. They are not made of moments (although there are substantial ones) nor are they made of achievements. Rather, it is a personal and private sense of acceptance and belonging. I’m no longer filled with broken bones. It can be said that I’m also finally safe and sound.