I don’t feel like I became an actual adult until I graduated college and moved to Washington, D.C.. It was different than when I moved from Washington State to Louisiana for undergrad., When I moved for college, I still felt somewhat sheltered; heavily reliant on my parents and parental figures around me. I technically had complete autonomy over my life, but I still was able to lean on them when things got shaky.
But this move, this time, was real. I was an actual adult where everything I did would impact my survival. I had to scramble to find a place to live, I was juggling internships and side hustles while looking for a full-time job, I had to navigate living with a stranger, and then of course bills. That was terrifying.
Is this what adulthood is? If so, I want a refund. A do over. I want to enjoy my adolescence without rushing to be “grown.” I want to feel security and not have to create it.
The overthinker in me delays actions and decisions.
The self-sabotage in me comes up with excuses to talk myself out of things.
The anxiety in me often raises questions like, “Should I just go back home?” But the dreams and aspirations in me told me to -
Deal With It.
In me dealing, I am learning that there are a lot of things I have to unlearn and relearn. My idea of security was intertwined with codependency. My concept of being on my own was intertwined with my fear of abandonment.
Since I conflated those things for so long, I had a hard time coming to terms with things being any different. See, even though they were unhealthy, they brought me comfort--or a false sense of it. Once I was forced to give them up, I felt empty. My inability to give myself these things on my own put me in a spiral of complex emotions I wasn’t able to articulate. Holding them in made me feel like I wasn’t in control.
Here’s the deal. I think we can all agree that adulting sucks. But, I think we can also agree that the more we come into it, the more we can appreciate the bittersweetness of it. Being an adult has its moments of joy once you start to wrangle all the different pieces of it.
Successfully navigating work, relationships, and paying bills can feel like survival of the fittest, but I also enjoy the work I do, the friendships I’ve made along the way, and earning enough to buy and do things that make me happy.
So no adulthood is imperfect and I wish I could have slowed down time, but sometimes the things I like the least about it result in the best parts.