(ie an anecdote that serves as a metaphor for how you should live your adult life):
This morning, running in the rain and struggling with the new barefoot technique, I noticed a chaffinch accompanying me through the meadow. She was lighting on the stalks of buttercups, each eventually bowing under her weight just as she lifted off toward the next; never quite landing, but making an effortless transition from resting to moving to resting.
The chaffinch is not just my running coach, but my life coach.
You have lived roughly twenty years now. In that time you have learned the names of things. You learned to say them. You learned to walk before you could even stand still, trusting in forward momentmum.
You learned your times tables and the rules for football. You have learned to love and hate and forgive. Some of you have faced death, betrayal and all those other abstract ideas, as experiences. Some of you have had good sex and bad sex and broken hearts and already know what exactly what bittersweet memory tastes like.
But if you are lucky, and the odds are good you will be, you have only lived less than a quarter of your life. All the space you have had for growing these twenty years you have three times over.
This morning when I was leaving the meadow I noticed a tree with moss hugging the trunk, like panicked sloths clinging to the stumps of phantom branches. Going nowhere, watching the leaves bud above them.
Follow the chaffinch. Trust forward momentum.