Let’s talk for a moment about ‘adulting.’
There’s this great movie, TV and internet “myth” (maybe it’s a myth… maybe it’s not) of his idea of the quarter-life crisis; of the idea that as young women, we have to be something that resembles fiscally, socially and romantically responsible and stable otherwise we have failed as young people and we will never have children, get married, or inherit the earth. There are books to help us as rolemodels like the characters on The New Girl or Two Broke Girls who are child-like and messed up that we can look to and use to validate our own problems and see that we’re not alone in this difficult world of loss and transition.
I believe that transition has always existed but now in the internet age we can reach out to people and get support and validation for our petty problems and feelings, and this has created a movement or life stage that we have then, forced to give a title or something to. It’s a confusing world for people in their 20s and 30s. Sometimes it’s the kind of world that makes you want to retreat into a dark corner and never come out of. More than ever we need security blankets and inspirational quotes and words of encouragement not just from people we love dearly, but from strangers.
The last few days have been very ‘adult’ days for me. I’ve evaluated my career and relationship future; I attended my first-ever professional convention; I have started the second semester of my career and done so with a lot more control and strength than I ever have, although I was still far from as ‘perfect’ as I want to be. I considered the fact for the first time in a long time that I long so deeply to be perfect and loved or at least liked by everyone all the time, and I want to try and please everyone, thereby tricking them into believing they like me when maybe they don’t. In the last day, I felt all these frustrations and anger I have never felt before really, towards people I love a lot. And when I was drowning in this big scary pity party, I realized something: that everything I’m going through right now and everything I’m thinking right now all comes down to the idea that this is just what adulthood is. It’s these kinds of problems and insecurities and transitions and fears and discomforts and frustrations. I’m out of this honeymoon stage of adulthood where I was able to just do whatever I wanted and pretend like I didn’t want anything more than what I had with my girlfriends and all I did was spend time posting on my silly girlfriends’ walls talking about how they were my “BFFs” (such a concept does not really exist anyways, IMO), and spending mad money on shoes and little trips.
Adulthood is something that’s hit me hard the last year and a half. I’ve had to plan for two; I’ve had to think about how and where I want to continue my career and what my priorities are; I’ve had to make monetary and geographical sacrifices in lieu of other things that I wanted. I keep on continuing to struggle to be heard and understood and sometimes I feel like a kid screaming for that cookie on the top shelf until I turn around and nobody’s home. But these are things I have to put up with in order to get what I want and need out of life.
I’m grateful today fully, for my struggles and frustrations the past few days because they’ve reminded me of what my life is worth. Is it doing exciting engaging fancy things every month? Hell no. And do I wish it was? Absolutely I do. But, I’m not there anymore. And I focus only on the cons of this sometimes, but the pros are important to remember to: I’m starting a professional career; I am learning the realities of standing on my own two feet in the world; I’m learning to grow happiness beneath my feet instead of finding it off in the distance somewhere; I’m not necessarily running from my problems anymore; I’ve given up a lot of that fancy extra stuff for something that, then and now, matters more; and I’ve gotten a big dose of reality. And yes, that came in the form of hardships and challenging conversations with my loved ones. And that fucking sucks. But, at the same time I feel more of the adult I long to be than I ever have.