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3 Awkward Realizations of a 500-Month-Old

What is your age, not in years but in months?

As a bit of time-wasting fun on Facebook, recently a friend asked how old we all were, not in years but in months. After a quick calculation – I took my age in years, multiplied it by 12 then counted the extra months on my fingers – I discovered I was exactly 500 months old!

Suddenly something that seemed like a trivial distraction now was a momentous occasion. How to celebrate 500 months here on Earth? How do I honor this amazing milestone? What can I do to mark this awesome anniversary?

A large billboard? A cake with 500 candles? A parade?

All those sound entirely appropriate but in these times of minimalism and restraint, I reluctantly decided scale back the festivities and write a simple blog post. So what to write about? After 500 months on the planet I must have something important to say. What to share?

Profound wisdom? Esoteric lessons? Spiritually-aligned truths?

As I began to write I came to the humbling understanding that 500 months of being alive does not guarantee a deep revelation about anything.

Here are three awkward realizations of a 500-month-old…

1)I Know Very Little About Most Things

By this point in my life, I thought I would at least feel like I have a basic knowledge in key areas.

Well this is awkward. Er, no. Not at all.

Here is a random sample of things I know very little about:

  • what electricity is and how it works
  • how to recognize different dog breeds
  • why the sky is blue
  • what most of the emoji faces actually mean

The troubling concern I have is that at one stage in the previous 499 months of my life I think I did know some of this stuff. Surely they taught us why the sky is blue at school? As time progresses I feel like I know less and less.

Isn’t this… wonderful!?

At 500 months of age, I am focused on learning and retaining knowledge in areas I really care about such as writing, parenting and celebrity baby names. I can always look up less important things when I need to.

2)I am Frequently Bewildered and Confused

By now I thought I would have a clear understanding of the universe and my place in it. I would be assured, confident, full of grace.

Well this is awkward. Er, no. Not at all.

Instead I am flailing through a muddled life full of chaos and surprise. Things I could never have imagined: Trump as President, professional Pokémon hunters, the popularity of hashtags, emojis and selfies.

Isn’t this…brilliant?

If I had reached a destination it would feel at best a little dull and at worst, like a death sentence. Variety is what keeps life from being anything but boring. Perhaps being relaxed with being constantly amazed at the curve balls the universe throws out is what growing up is really about.

3)There is Almost Nothing I know For Sure

With 500 months under my belt I would have thought I would know what is right and what is not.

Well this is awkward. Er, no. Not at all.

Every time I have thought I have found a principle about the best way to live, I discover an equally true alternative. Life should be about working on ourselves / about giving to others. Setting goals and striving to achieve them is very important / living in the present moment is crucial. Chocolate is bad for you / chocolate is good for you.

Isn’t this…awesome?

There is no black and white way to live, not even a spectrum of greys, but in fact a whole kaleidoscope of equally correct possibilities. Life will never be a flawless masterpiece but if you are really lucky you will get the chance to blend colors so you can craft your own flawed artwork that is perfect just for you.

Beautiful and Messy

It is awkward to admit that I know very little about most things, I walk around in a constant state of bewilderment and I can’t be sure I am right about anything, even after 500 months here on Earth.

And that is exactly the point. All we can do is have fun, be ourselves, play full out and not overthink it.

Boy am I looking forward to the next 500 months of my beautiful and messy life!

Originally published at julieschooler.com

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