Eric: How do you open these stupid bottles?
Anthony: It's easy!
Eric: No it's not, it's--... Mom. WHY are you laughing?
Me: You are clearly getting too old to open childproof bottles. This is one of the rules of the Universe. Ask your brother to help you. He is young enough to be able to do it. See how he is hopping up and down yelling "me try me try me try"?
Eric: Anthony? Do you really know how to open these?
Anthony: AbsoLUTEly. What I do is, I throw them really hard at the floor.
This story here, is a tiny metaphor for my life as an attempted adult:
Step One: Diligently try to learn to be the kind of person who can line up the arrows on all the bottles right so life will open up the way it should in the hands of a grown up.
Step Two: Get mad.
Step Three: Try harder.
Step Four: Get guilty and resentful.
Step Five: Give up trying.
Step Six: Reframe giving up as a zen realization of my own limitations, and write long missive about how some people are arrow-liner-up-ers and some people aren’t, and try to sound really spiritually mature about the whole thing.
Step Seven: Get mad, forget to be zen, and throw bottle at floor.
Step Eight: Forgive self for unorthodox methods, but go get broom because self-forgiveness does not negate the need to tidy up.
Step Nine: Unable to find broom, attempt to use dishtowels instead, which works surprisingly well.
Step Ten: Slowly, quietly at first but then with building excitement like sunrise, realize that bottle throwing is not failure. It’s just another way to open things up.
The world needs arrow line-er-up-ers. And when you can't do it, when it just doesn't work and no amount of trying fits you into the place that you are supposed to be, that doesn't just mean you are a crappy arrow line-er-up-er. It means that in this thing, you are a bottle thrower. Finding other ways to open things up. Making new spaces for people to fit in and new ways of doing things.
The world needs bottle throwers, too.