As I was driving around town I started to think about how I had changed over the years. From the really depressed and self-absorbed teenager to the confused young adult to the wife that was starting to feel like an actual adult. I then started thinking about being a parent since that is about where I am in life and remembered the old idea of a manual for life. My mother always said that she wished she could just tell me the stuff not to do that made her life hard so I didn't have to go through the same shit. However, that is the sort of things that made her who she is today and if she hadn't gone through those things I wouldn't be the way I am. That is for another post entirely. I wish to more focus on the idea of not being able to learn from a book what life is about.
Reading is one of my favorite things to do. For the longest time I took how I was supposed to act at certain ages from books and tried to put it into my own life. Needless to say, this did not work out so well. There are multiple reasons that this did not work out well for me. One of them being that I was not the characters in the books I was reading. Another being, I had a hard time listening to people tell me how I am supposed to act. Oops. I always wanted to know the books that other people were reading though that made them who they were. There were the girls that had the attitude problems, who never seemed to care how others looked at them. There were really pretty people that actually cared for others, which made them even more irresistible to the opposite sex. All of these different types of people and I had read about every single one of them and yet not been able to pull any of them off as well as the people around me had. For the longest time I thought there was a book out there that I just had not read that explained all of this to me.
But there is no manual to life. It is all trial and error and as I was driving I realized that while we can hope that childhood is where trial and error is and stays, that is surly not true. To this very day every day is a trial and error on how to live. Especially with what others expect out of you. I wish it was not so, or at least I wish others saw it as well and gave a little slack. All you can do is try the hardest that you can to do the best that you can. If you aren't doing that, then you aren't truly living and you are just letting the stream of life carry you on. There will be plenty of time for that sort of thing when you die and you must pass the river of dead to get to whatever awaits you.
I have decided to start looking at life more as an adventure and as life is trial and error they are all minor adventures to the big finale. The big finale being, of course, what happens at the end. It has never been one of those things that I wondered about or was scared about. I just know it is going to come around at some point or another and while I hope it is a very far off thing, I know it can happen at anytime. That is also where a manual would not come in well. What happens if your manual is shorter than everyone else's? You would know then that you would not live the whole time. And if it were a book, could you hold off from flipping to the back or even to the next chapter before that one is done and ruin the surprise that is life?
While there may not be a manual for life and there seems to be no rhyme nor reason either. Life should be an adventure and you should enjoy every minute of it because of it. Don't let the mistakes get you down, learn from them and keep on heading forward. Look back every now and then to know where you have come from, but don't dilly dally upon them too long.
Originally posted on Orble.com March 25th, 2010