Some of us enter adulthood with a major psychological design defect.
It doesn’t become apparent until we really get put to the test, and we take some abuse. Some combination of our inherent traits, and our early lives, left some component that was doomed to fail, after trying to get through life with it.
There’s no going back. There’s no ordering parts. And in order to fix it, you first must break catastrophically, because only then is your mind willing to concede defeat, and accept change, and, in some cases, accept a loss of the safety of the pretense of normality.
You put yourself back together, with your newfound awareness of how you are made, and it feels much better. The inner stresses that shattered you are gone, and you have only to content with a world that sees your weakness… sees the cracks where you glued and puttied yourself back together. The empty holes from the screws you lost in the process.
If age has any benefit at all, it’s peace. A resolution of the dissonance between who you’re trying to be, and who you are.
People still hurt. Life still hurts. But it makes sense, and it’s not frustrating, and it’s not shocking, and you don’t blame anyone, because you can relate to ignorance, and you can relate to misunderstanding, and free will isn’t all that likely.
And maybe you’d prefer this tried and tested you to a brand new you, and having to figure it out all over again right away, and instead want some time to relax before the next incarnation, between the time when you have the worst parts figured out, and the time when you can no longer serve any useful purpose.
Time really doesn’t go by quickly, if you keep an eye on it, and you keep learning.
A string of little pearls, life… this moment you’re in right now, if you can read this, and if you can still wonder about big and small things in the universe, and what great philosophers were like in person, and why electric blue feels the way it does, or why pancakes taste so good.