There's a difference between knowing something and KNOWING something.
I knew that I was going to have to go through chemo, but it wasn't until I did it that I really understood what that meant. I know that if I eat the pound of mashed potatoes or 9,000 cookies that I'm never going to lose the weight I put on while going through treatments (and seriously--who puts on weight?) but somehow I can't reconcile it in my mind as actual truth. I know that I'm out of shape, but until I go and try and climb a mountain, I don't actually realize how out of shape I am.
It's the same mentality that people go through when they think, "It'll never happen to me." Whether the it is related to crashing your car while texting, getting STIs, cancer, etc. We know the consequences of a thing, but we never actually believe it will happen to us.
You can know that your friend is in pain or feeling one or more of the above, and have no idea what to do and say because you don't really KNOW what the heck is going on with them. Which is too bad, because sometimes your friends know that they aren't alone but still feel that way. They know that they are loved and have support and meaning, but still feel empty. They even know that there is a loving Father in Heaven that has a plan for them and still feel a completely adrift.
I'm always afraid to say out loud how utterly lost and alone I feel sometimes because I really do know all those things. I know that turning 30 is not the worst thing in the world. That especially after all I've been through in the past year, I should be grateful that I'm celebrating another year of life. I know that I'm not the first 30-year old single Mormon that feels lost. And I'm not the last. I know how cool people find my really awesome grayish buzz cut. I know a lot of things.
I know that I can live a totally fulfilling and happy life even as it stands now. I have good friends and a regular paycheck from a job that I--for the most part--enjoy. Indeed, I feel that all of my basic needs are being met. (At least as far as Maslow's pyramid goes.) But I still don't KNOW how to continue on as things stand and be content. Sometimes there is this overwhelming, pressing sadness that I can't seem to shake. Sometimes I hurt and yearn for things that I can't change that I feel backed up into a corner and too exhausted to try and fight my way out.
The future, as it stands, is largely lacking in the things that I have been raised, engrained, trained to want. I never thought for a second, until recently, that there was a possibility of not achieving my goals. And they are my goals. Regardless of my upbringing, whether it is just too late to change, or because my biological clock is ticking, or because I'm just me: I want these things. I wanted them 10 years ago. I wanted them five years ago. I wanted them yesterday. I just don't know how to go about getting them anymore. I feel as though I have tried everything, and thus far, nothing has worked.
I'm in the same position I was 10 years ago. I'm in the same position I was five years ago. And I'm in the same position I was in yesterday. Despite my efforts. Despite my prayers and pleas and wishful thinking. Despite my fantasies and daydreams.
So here I am, on the cusp of 30. And I know it will pass by like every other birthday I've dreaded. Perhaps there will be a few more panic attacks. And perhaps there will be a lot more tears. But I KNOW I'll deal with it like everything else life has thrown my way. And maybe I'll continue thinking that there's still a chance.
"It'll never happen to me."
I just know it.