Adulting Kinda Sucks, Maybe

I have had these thoughts for the past couple of months. I have come to the realization that “adulting is like suffering”. Just hear me out. Suffering is one of the hardest adult life challenges that I have had to face. Throughout the five years I spent in college, I had this Disney Land perception of becoming an adult. I was away from my family, friends, childhood and was given an opportunity to experience life on my own. I made my own decisions, had my own schedule, and thought “Wow being an adult is really nice”! I had made my own “box” to live in. I would still have my family vacations each summer and would spend the holidays without any inhibitions. Even though I felt like I was my an adult who could make his own decisions, I wasn’t really in a new box, but still the same one I had previously inhabited my whole life. Rob Bell writes in his novel, Drops Like Stars, “There’s a phrase we use when we’re describing something we consider new and fresh and unexpected. We say it’s out of the box … when something or someone is judged to be in or out of the box, it reveals that the box is still our primary point of reference”. My new, but still original box, had been torn open the spring of my fourth year in college. Anna Schaenzle, a girl I had dated the summer leading into my fourth year, had passed away from a rare form of neuroendocrine cancer. I had experienced death before in my life, but it was a “in the box” form of death I knew. People my age, especially people I had been romantically involved with, weren’t supposed to die. I soon realized that death can happen to any age group, especially unexpectedly. I spent the last month of our relationship in the ICU and living room of Anna’s home still having this false sense of hope thinking she would beat the cancer that had grown an 8lb tumor in her abdomen. She wasn’t the catalyst that moved me into the nursing field, but she definitely solidified my drive to become a nurse. At that point, I had created a new, almost terrifying, “box”. Rob Bell goes on to say that when we suffer, “We had things well planned out, we knew what meant what. We had all of our boxes properly organized and labeled, but all of that changed when we began to suffer.” As most of you know, I had blown my knee skiing this year. I’m no longer invincible. I was 3 weeks in my brand new job and had to take disability for 4 months. Now that it is summer, I quickly realized that I cannot take vacations on a whim anymore. I don’t have all the time in the world for family and friends. I do love my job, but I have found that it is almost numbing to the soul. I become a part of all of my patient’s worst days, weeks, months ever. I had only experienced death twice in my life, but now I experience death, life altering events, and suffering each time I throw on my scrubs and clock in. I bond with all of my patients and their families. That bond transcends whatever differences we have. Suffering does that to us. We all would like to have someone else screaming alongside us. Rob Bell goes on to say that that’s the part of the incarnation. God came into the world and screamed alongside us. Perhaps the cross is God’s way of saying, “I know how you feel”. Lastly, I would like to touch on Rob Bell’s art of elimination. In a nut shell, suffering makes us “remove clutter, excess, all the superfluous elements and finding out in the process what’s been in there the whole time”. Courage, desire, integrity, virtue, compassion, dignity, loyalty and love are what are found while suffering. It helps you eliminate what doesn’t matter and allows you to find what matters most. We become open to mercy, grace, gratitude, gift, appreciation, and joy that’s always been around us.

So yeah, adulting kinda sucks, but it doesn’t mean that you are on your own. In fact, everyone who “adults” experiences suffering. In that suffering, we find how to break open our boxes, find the art of solidarity and eliminate what doesn’t matter in our lives while we find what matters most.

Davis Benedict

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2 comments (Add your own)

1. Linda Berner wrote:
Davis, I am so proud of you!! What a beautiful testimony. Love you, Grandma

Sat, August 3, 2019 @ 9:19 PM

2. Deanne Cruickshank wrote:
Davis, what a testimony for a young "adult". You inspire me to believe that the younger generation will move forward in this changing world. Blessings, Deanne

Tue, August 6, 2019 @ 7:18 AM

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