Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it?

“Do any human beings ever realize life while they live it – every, every minute?

– Emily Webb, Our Town

And how can we, when we are born knowing absolutely nothing? I think it’s one of the cruelest things about life – that we are born not knowing jack shit, and we have to make a bunch of serious mistakes before we learn and grow and start getting in right. I’m not really sure how we are supposed to appreciate what we have when we’re so young and inexperienced we’ve got nothing to which we can compare it.

I had to go through cancer to understand how precious a working body is. I had to go through years with the wrong man to understand how fragile relationships are, and how irrevocable heartbreak can be. You can learn things by the example of others, certainly, but there really is no substitute for experience. I look at my young nieces and I wonder what trials they are destined to endure in order to reach the place where they realize at least part of life, while they are living it. They have no idea. How could they?

Still, I refuse to believe that the essence of youth is “wasted” only on the young. Most of the time, I feel like I’m around 12. Most of the time, my inner adult gladly steps aside and yields to the fun, fun, fun of unencumbered singlehood. I think I’m making up for lost time. I think I’m doing all the things that were forbidden or at least frowned upon when I was young and controlled and repressed – and I didn’t know jack. Jack and I, we’re more than just acquaintances these days, and we both like to have fun. Jack definitely realizes life – every, every minute. Jack is my hero. 🙂