- Warning: a crazily TL;DR philosophy-heavy post, be sure to take toilet breaks and always wear a seat belt. -
Lately I've been grappling with the above. Once upon a time, me and my friends were all just little tots, exploring, and trying to makes sense of the world. Now, many of them have grown up and left the cot behind. Many more have found jobs and are in all means of the phrase, standing on their own two legs. Despite yes, living on my own and having to look after myself, and yes, working much of my holidays, I still don't feel mature. I'm as immature as ever. Why am I not mature? How does one become "an adult"? Surely its not something people become by default. Its not like once we hit the all mighty age of 18 we are suddenly thrust into the big bad world as mature beings. No, thats definitely not it. Is maturity even age related? I seriously doubt it. Look at all the man-childs (men-children?) out there; Charlie Sheen and other such unconsolable arseholes. Are people who get addicted to substances immature? From a certain point of view, it seems as if addicts of any sort have yet to shed or control their childhood impulse for having a good time. I don't know, is that even what maturity is? Thus this wanderous and ponderous post, HMMMMM *strokes beard*.
So the crux of my conundrum; what defines maturity? I have a strong feeling whatever I'm going to write is self-defeating because it will be deemed "immature". Whatever - I'll do it anyway.
Maturity is... (in no particular order)
Knowing when to fold (or along similar lines; picking and choosing your battles, learning to let go) - I haven't always admired people who admit they are wrong, my parents never seem to do it. But now I realise how difficult it is to swallow your pride, especially when you are so sure you're right. I can credit this revelation to Medicine; after spending hours and hours rote learning half a page of neuroanatomy, by God you want to be right. Self-confidence takes a very real battering when you realise everything you know is wrong. And when the stakes are high, Pride becomes much harder to swallow.
Accepting that shit happens - Einstein once said "God does not play dice". That is bullshit. Ok, ok, so not complete bullshit. (Only because I'm slightly less credible. Jokes.) But I DO think that there's a reason for everything. Nothing to do with fate or destiny or anything hocus pocus like that, we're all rational beings here, but reasons as a result of consequences. I am here because my parents had sex. (D=) My parents are here because my grandparents had sex (Dx, I feel dirtied... ) The reason their parents blah blah blah blah big bang or God, depending on your beliefs (which themselves can be explained by consequences). The only problem is that we cannot fully understand every step of the chain of consequentialism because frankly, we don't know anything. Or more specifically, we don't know EVERYTHING. When I wrote this, I was particularly thinking about romantic relationships. Seriously, how often does one know what the significant other is thinking? Even more startling, how often does one know what your subconscious is thinking! All the tiny, minute nuances of human nature - personality, upbringing, random spontaneous thoughts - found within yourself, and within your friends, and your friends' friends, all that most of the time subletly, sometimes not so subletly, affects your thoughts and your mood. It wouldn't be preposterous for me to say that it affects the very fiber of your being. (Background: I believe that people are dynamic and that they change all the time. Like a river, with moment brings new experiences, changing the entire composition of "a person".) pervade your life. Ever heard of the butterfly effect? Its basically chaos theory and talks about how tiny, tiny changes accumulate to create massive events; a butterfly that beats its wings in London could in theory, cause a hurricane in the US.
Basically what I'm trying to say is, there are too many factors when it comes to consequences for us to understand, so we may as well take it at face value - as chance. And as with all chance, it doesn't give an rats anus about how hard you work, or how much money you have. In the end, shit happens. And you have no control over it.
Getting your priorities straight - self explanatory I think. All the friends that are in my eyes "mature" know where they want to go, and are hell bent on getting there. They have direction in life, something I would like. The other side of the coin is learning to balance work and play. Movies and such keep telling us to value our relationships, but such lessons should be taken with a grain of salt (or more). Films are, after all, nothing more than flights of fancy, designed to win our hearts and break the banks. Other related subjects (because I'm so cbs right now, 4 hours into writing this post) include maintaining motivation, being serious when it counts, doing what it takes to get what you want, and not procrastinating. Hah. Imagine, me not procrastinating. Not gonna happen.
Wisdom (a.k.a experience and learning from your mistakes) - I have a personal belief that all old people are walking encylopaedias on living. They are, after all, old people. They've probably made the same mistakes you and I are going to make, only 50 times over. Old people are in the best position to impart great wisdom upon us. All old people, except for my parents. Guh parents, shudder.
Being serious, sometimes. I pray to God that this is the case, and not having to be serious ALL the time. I think that is what I'm afraid of most. If you know me well, then you'll realise that a lot of time, I'm just a massive retard, as in I do many many what I think is inconsequential, immeasurably stupid, most of the time, innapriopriate things; for example, burst into song, make lame puns, break out in dance, and generally make a fool out of myself. I realise this is probably the department in which I am most lacking in maturity. But I hope I don't have to shut down the entire department altogether. Being a retard is thoroughly enjoyable afterall.
I think knowing what is appropriate and what is not (mainly not) is a big part of being mature. Giggling whenever a patient mentions haemorrhoids is NOT being mature. Nor is it professional. But the problem with being a pioneer of any sort (for example inventors, surgeons) and entertainer (am I not entertaining? pleasedon'tanswerthat) is that there's an urge to push the boundaries of normal and expand whatever it is you do, be it the field you work in or human rights. And I do have this urge to push boundaries, its a form of curiousity ingrained into my personality. I usually experiment with my own boundaries, but sometimes the constraints of society become collateral damage - it's not so much as an act of rebellion, but more exploration. And therein lies the problem; many, MANY people don't appreciate having their comfort zone pushed, and the mature person would realise this and recognise where a particular person's boundaries lie. But I am no mature person and I enjoy bending boundaries, it makes life so very interesting. So all it is a giant balancing act, and with wisdom and experience, you can only get better at determining what is innappropriate and what is okay. I tried desperately to wikipedia some wisdom, but to no avail. Sigh~
To be honest maturity is probably not having to define maturity. Hurrah, Kevin 0 - Kevin 1.
Maturity is not...
Being too old to have fun
Sophistication (in the shallow sense of the word) - basically trying to look sophisticated because you're old and people assume that you're "mature".
Always being serious.
Final thoughts - I think maturity is the future. By "future" I don't mean, the forever unreachable (and always packed full of plans) tomorrow. What I mean is that its something we always strive towards. Perhaps its something like being "a good" person. Once you're there, there's always better. And so you don't actually get there. (How depressing.)
You know, it would cause me great despair if someone told me I was mature... I hope for the sake of mankind that I am not. If this little MedKid is mature then the world is seriously fucked.
|I wish I look as good as this dude when I'm mature.|
By the way, I'm actually on term mid year holidays for those who don't know, have been for the past almost 4 weeks. Its only because of the holidays that I've been able to blog at all. So since its nearing the end of my break, I'll probably be hard at work again very soon, meaning that this will probably be the last post for a while.
Adieu for now, my fellow time travellers.