So here I am at the tender age of 124 and you would have thought that, by now, I would have learned some Valuable Life Lessons. Well, I have learned a few: water will boil faster if you put a lid on the pan; 3-year-olds throw their best tantrums in the middle of the grocery store; the song "Being Alive" from Company will always make me cry; and (most importantly of all) I have no idea what the fuck I'm doing with my life.
While the first three Ultimate Truths are comforting, the last one makes me feel like I'm perpetually in the Third Grade (not my best year in grade school). I think I'm sailing along just fine, and then I do/say something so incredibly stupid/embarrassing that I have to go see Miss Gerst (my third grade teacher; we had a lot of "conferences" that year). I do take some small comfort in the fact that I have a sneaking suspicion I'm not the only one who doesn't know what they're doing. Other people just fake it better.
I can't fake it because I have an Unnatural Compulsion to be honest. When I was a kid I was constantly being lied to and I KNEW people were constantly lying to me and it pissed me off. I felt like the whole world knew a huge secret and everybody had conspired to never let me find out what it is, and, yes, I was a card-carrying member of the Pediatric Paranoid Patrol, our secret decoder ring was awesome, but somebody was always trying to steal mine. But the point is, you would think that my Badge of Truthtelling would give me some kind of Courage Surge and Strength of Character, but all it does is lead me to do/say something so incredibly stupid/embarrassing (albeit HONEST) that here I am back at Miss Gerst's Desk. It smells like white school paste and rulers.
So, maybe the Fourth Ultimate Truth really is that I don't know what the fuck I'm doing and I never will know what the fuck I'm doing and I should quit kvetching about it and just enjoy the ride, bumps and all. And, after all this time, Miss Gerst's Desk feels like home.