Transcendentalism is not a theory to which I subscribe, but I love teaching the concept. The transcendentalists are the original rebels to traditional thought, and while I'm not necessarly an advocate of bucking the system, I think there are times when it's necessary.
After reading excerpts of "Self-Reliance" with English III, we got into a discuss about what is expected of the students after high school. Almost all of them had the same answer: go to college, graduate, get married, have kids, etc. I asked them if there was a specific timeline for these activities. They all indicated that there was absolutely a timeline--in fact, they were expected to have most of their decisions made by the time they graduate. It is, after all, difficult to choose a major if one hasn't made a decision.
I hated hearing it, but I haven't felt much different. I was the girl who graduated from college, got married, got a job and then realized that I was in the wrong, wrong, wrong place. All of a sudden, my timeline was shot all to hell and I had reconfigure some of my ideas.
I did reconfigure, but that doesn't mean that everything fell magically into place or that I don't still hear that clock ticking in the background. I guess, to some extent, it's impossible to ignore the clock entirely...or maybe there is just a fear that I will not get the opportunity to do some things because of time.
Now, I realize that two of the people I have the upmost respect for (my brothers) haven't functioned according to typical timelines and they seem perfectly happy where they are. How is that possible? I think the honest answer is this: it's more about enjoying the ride than constantly assessing where you are "supposed" to be. Maybe that's where I've missed the boat. Here I am looking at the ship that's left and never appreciating the beautiful beach I'm standing on.
Maybe it's time to build a sand castle?