Importance in a Young Adult Life

At first I felt that becoming a young adult meant I had to have everything in my life figured out. I had to have made the 'big decisions.' I had to know where I was going and what was important to me. Because I'd been hurt by young people's oppression, I doubted most of what I thought and found it hard to be close to, or trust, anyone. Having grown up middle-class, the only 'acceptable' option seemed to be to pretend that everything was fine and I was doing well.

I'm now beginning to get the life I want. Here are some things that are important to me:

RELATIONSHIPS

Falling in love, fighting to stay close to friends, and valuing people are what make my life wonderful and meaningful. This is hard to remember, especially when I feel I am supposed to be 'achieving important things.' I never have to give up on my relationships, and there is time to make them just how I want them. My picture of relationships can be much bigger than the one I was sold.

I have fun, and struggle, explaining to my partner (and remembering myself) that it's not just him and me. To be close with other people helps me think about my partner relationship. (I certainly don't want to be left to figure it out by myself!) I try to take risks to get closer with everyone. My aim is to have open, honest, two-way relationships. It's not enough for me to mostly listen.

DREAMS AND GOALS

I try to hold out for everything I ever dreamed of, and encourage others to do this. Society has told me that I should be grateful for what I have, that I should stop complaining or wanting more, that 'this is just how things are.' When I dare to think big, I remember that what I really want is for every single human being, including me, to have a good, free life. When I remember how huge my goal is I remember that it makes sense to slow down, because my goal won't be achieved in a few years. Still, I know where I am headed.

SMALL THINGS ARE BIG THINGS

For a long time I thought it was up to me to set up huge projects, get into government, make a thousand friends, and liberate the world by the end of the month. I've figured out that it is powerful being a smaller but excellent example of how things can be different. People are smart, and they look at examples and figure how to use them to set up their own lives differently. It's hopeful for people to see alternative ways to do things well. I think we underestimate the difference we make in this way.

LEAVING ADDICTIONS BEHIND

Having gotten closer to people recently, I've found that my addictions are less forceful. I've been able to think about them in a different way. I notice how they separate me from people. This no longer seems attractive. I never want to be separated again.

NO SEPARATION BETWEEN RC AND MY 'REAL LIFE'

For a long time I thought that completely joining together RC and my 'real life' was a ridiculous idea. I was unable to imagine having the closeness and support I have in RC in my other relationships. I felt I had two half-lives. Having my 'real' friends listen to me or support each other seemed too much to hope for.

Now I've decided that there can't be any division between RC and the rest of my life. I value my RC relationships as real relationships, for life. I tell most of my friends about RC, not to recruit them, but to share my life honestly with them. I cry with my boyfriend. If a friend is nearby, I don't save my problems for a session. I am saying more honestly what I think and dream about. I have farther to go, but my direction is good.

Bess Herbert
London, England

 


Last modified: 2017-05-06 23:35:41-07