It has been many years since I have been confronted with the magnitude of my supposed failures in adult development.
I tried not to take it too hard, but it’s eating at me, gnawing away at my carefully constructed indifference to the opinions of others.
I know I “could be farther along” or “could have been/done/seen” whatever.
But no, I really couldn’t.
Because I would love for the meritocracy to be real but it is not. It is a red herring to distract from the truth that is so painful. Those who get ahead in this life do so without the aid of approprate skills, experience or wisdom. They get there through social engineering, privilege, luck, favortism, and opportunism.
I have never wanted to be “farther along” because I don’t really understand the supposed value. Happiness is independent of earnings, and earnings are not a representation of my personal worth. I have no desire to achieve anything at the expense of another; I honestly don’t like being a winner any more than being a loser. I believe we all lose when we try to employ a mindset that winning competitively is our goal or even our means to some other end.
I will not engage in morally or ethically reprehensible behavior for the sake of gaining ground in a race to nowhere. Advancement seems to be its own beast that has grown to enjoy social support as some sort of icon of enlightenment, yet it’s basically hollow – without substance.
Advance to what? more complication, more responsibility, more expectation and disappointment? Advancement to greatness cannot be achieved on a crumbling foundation of dreams without focus or support.
I actually would like to see humanity advance, but in a genuinely functional and healthy way. Advancing to a life dominated by keeping up with demands and producing endlessly is not advancement, it’s enslavement.
I want to advance to a life unfettered by obligation to a false premise. Conventional “advancement” is not self-actualization, healthiness or transcendence – and those are the advancements I hope to make in this world.
Maybe I could have “advanced” myself. But it would not get me where I want to be.