Time flies by. The day I learned how to ride a bike is a memory so vivid that I feel as if I could grab it. Yet, that was over 30 years ago. Life was simple as a child.
Being an adult is a little different. I've seen a lot of memes floating around recently about "Adulting." Some are funny. Most just make me wonder why we're, for the most part, all so incapable of building more than façades. It's not uncommon for people to feel alone, especially now at this moment we're in. So, I'd like to take a moment to try to untangle the deep dark web of adulthood and boil it down a bit. We'll see where it leads me in a 5-minute read.
Façade. According to dictionary.com, Façade means:
The front of a building, especially an imposing or decorative one.
Any side of a building facing a public way or space and finished accordingly.
Thanks, Dictionary.com! (Ironically, part of adulting for me was finally looking up this word one day rather than just nodding in agreement/pretending I knew what people meant all the time.)
So, façades are showy, exterior walls. With businesses that are trying to sell something, they'll usually make them extra-extra pleasant. Sometimes when I go into stores or restaurants, I like to look in a backroom or two. You know, the rooms with all the unswept floors and boxes that employees haven't had the time to break down and throw in the recycling. The rooms with all the backlog of inventory that hasn't been sorted yet. Interestingly, the only possible surprises are pleasant ones when you walk into a store with a lousy exterior.
You all know where I'm going with this. (And it's because you're adults!)
I'm just wondering why we all feel the need to pretend everything is okay all the time. Wouldn't we all feel so much better about ourselves if we just lowered the bar a little? I want everyone reading this to know something. It's okay to not be okay. And it's okay to open up about it and be vulnerable too.
What I see happening is a breakdown in the community. We are all conditioning one another exponentially to keep up with the Joneses. There is less truth, more show. I believe it's the main contributing factor to our generations' inability to have all our rooms looking as lovely as the façade. Why? Because when so many resources are being poured into the façade, there is little time left to work on cleaning out the dark corners on the inside.
Walls are made to divide. They are built with the purpose of closing others out.
Fortunately for all of us, friendship and love are things out there that still have a hell of a lot of fight left in them.
I'm talking to all of you. Have the façades you've built left you feeling isolated and disconnected? What are the areas in your life that you've been faking? The truth is, when we disconnect from one another, we are all so much more prone to engage in harmful, time-wasting activities rather than putting in the work to clean up the back rooms.
Marriages fall apart because of pretending things are okay. The daily work of communicating and getting to know one another continually is replaced with watching a T.V. show together. (Or worse yet, watching on different devices because you 'like other things'!) The dividing walls grow, addiction flourishes. Deception to cover up the addictions provides more potent and stronger wall-building materials than before.
Friendships fall apart because of pretending things are okay. When we present ourselves a certain way, like we've got things all figured out, people that don't know us can quickly put us on a pedestal. Disillusion is a pretty common theme after the honeymoon phase of any friendship. Let's get real; we're all human. We all have our caca.
So, can we all stop kidding ourselves for a little while? Being an adult is stressful because we've piled on the expectations. It needs to stop.
Take a moment to just free yourself!
-You don't need a new car, a raised-up 4x4, or a fancy family minivan. Those things look nice, but they come with stressful monthly payments. Find something reliable; better yet, ride share or take public transit and meet new friends. (Discomfort is good for the community!)
-You don't need to stress about your kids being perfect at the grocery store. Children express negative emotions with tears and yelling. It's okay if they have a tantrum at the checkout. I still love you, you're not a bad parent. (Let's get the parental torture candy removed from these areas.)
-You don't need to pretend everything is okay! Drinking daily, over-working, smoking, watching porn, video games, T.V., gambling, toking, checking email or social media every 2 hours... these are problems. They are symptoms of disconnection. ie: Living behind a façade. Let's crack them open and be REAL.
The sum of my thoughts: Perhaps adult life actually could be as simple as a child's. Maybe we've just all gone and overcomplicated it with a bunch of stuff that we overwork ourselves to afford, leaving us with little time to invest in the next round of children. Maybe our lifestyle expectations should be less influenced by commercials and more attention put towards our specific needs as families and individuals. And maybe, just maybe, it's not too late for us to step back, open up and connect about this issue.
Challenge: Ask a friend for help and help another friend in need with no judgment this week.
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