When is a life finally “together”?

Recently, I was wondering what it means to get your life “together”. I’m sure you hear it too; especially when you see commercials concerning young people and for-profit education. I heard a young mother, who was probably in her very early 20s, say about a national medical assisting school: “I was so excited when I made the call [to the school to enroll]. I felt like I was getting my life together”.

So, what does it mean to get your life “together”? Better yet, how do you know when you’re there? When you’re “together”?

If we leave it up to for-profit schools, a person is only “together” if they are engaged in overpriced, questionably-accredited education. Apparently, being a parent or a loved one, earning an income (regardless of where you earn), and generally being alive and healthy doesn’t quite cut it in the “together” department.

This, I think, raises a precarious but important question: if we rely on the media or other institutions (like higher ed, for example) to let us know when we’re “together”, wouldn’t it be quite in their interest if we never made it to that point?


So then, this has been a reminder to rebuke, reject, and downright deny any other entity instructing you of when you are “together”. Leave that to the experts: ourselves. Maybe, this is as good as it gets. And maybe, that’s just fine.

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4 thoughts on “When is a life finally “together”?

  1. I know I’m not “together” and haven’t been for years. Looking back it seems as if I might have been more together before things got worse, but at the time I doubt I’d have thought I was together. Maybe in the process of getting that way, but is it ever more than a goal or a memory? Now I doubt I’ll ever be together, but I would like to be more together than I am now. I do love the feeling of beginnings that a new course of study provides, the sense of hope that it might lead to a better life. Of course for profit companies will tap into this, as all capitalist companies do for any form of human dissatisfaction.

    Personally, I will continue to try to pursue an improvement in togetherness, while never expecting to reach the goal until I get to heaven! Of course attempting to avoid the pitfalls along the way of buying into things which can never deliver and will just try to exploit me. :)

    • I like how you asked if “it ever more than a goal or a memory”; I though your choice of words was really meaningful. A goal -in the future- and a memory -from the past. It was fascinatingly polarizing. So then it seems that, how you feel about being “together”, that it is an ideal. Something pursued, even fervently or righteously so, but unattainable as an ethereal dream or a distant memory. Its very interesting. And, yes by all means, avoid those commercial pitfals who make you ask, “what do I need to buy to make the sky turn blue again?” Thank you for your comment :D

  2. I have the fancy expensive education and I still don’t feel like I have my life “together”. I am absolutely still making it up as I go. I also still regularly feel like someone is going to catch on to the fact that I’m “masquerading as an adult”. I suspect that’s how most of us feel. I figure as long as you can pay your bills and you’re not hurting anyone else, you’re together enough.

    • I couldn’t agree more, on the “masquerading as an adult” concept. I have felt like that ever since I became a legal adult. it reminds me of a recent read of mine, “The Ocean at the End of the Lane” by Neil Gaiman, when the main character said something to the effect that we are all still children inside, we just change how we approach the world in the view of other “adults”. Inside, we are all wondering and blindly looking for something unknown and beyond description. I guess, in this grand masquerade, as we gaze at the shadows on the cave wall, the difference between being an “adult” and whatever ever else we can call ourselves is a matter of construction, and has no actual place in reality. :) Thank you for sharing your thoughts.

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