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The Vast Barren Wasteland of Adulthood

Lauren Phillips-Freeman
2 min readMay 15, 2022

We all wind up there eventually
whether we want to be there or not,
spewed out onto that vast, rolling plain
in some bare, uninviting spot,
with no paths to follow or signposts to read
you must choose your own heading and go,
trudging on at a pace that is somehow
alarmingly fast and yet painfully slow.

There are no landmarks to break up the terrain,
no buildings to beckon you home,
many will plod on forever out there
never questioning why they roam,
they merely keep going on a futile quest
to find milestones that do not exist,
never realising they must build their own
and that no one else can assist.

You must source the materials, pick a spot
and hope your foundations are strong,
some abide in their own creations for years
despite knowing the placement is wrong,
a few have the courage to up sticks and go
but most will stay put for the ease,
they do not believe better things could be found,
it’s true, there are no guarantees.

But if you’re persistent and settle not
in the first promising spot you find,
you can bend this landscape to your will
with a little strength of mind,
constructing a hut, a house, a palace,
or whatever suits you best,
you can abide there as long as you live
or strike out on another quest.

Should you choose to go roaming
you may come across noteworthy sites,
stumble upon the ruins of abandoned hopes
or the remnants of previous plights,
life lessons etched on crumbled brick,
roof tiles dashed to pieces and scattered,
you’ll regard them dispassionately
like the times you thought those places mattered.

The decades roll by and so do the miles,
some travelling further than others,
some resent being there all their lives,
while some become ardent lovers,
but most of us fall in the middle and while
there are things we would change if we could,
we make the best of it out on
the vast barren wasteland of adulthood.

Lauren Phillips-Freeman

Lauren Phillips-Freeman is a language teacher and writer with a love of words in all their forms. She uses writing to help her process her own tangled emotions.