When you’re a kid, the ultimate dream is to grow up as fast as humanly possible, because in the eyes of an 11-year-old, the benefits that adults reap seem endless: bedtime is no longer fixed to 8:30 PM, no one can tell you not to have candy for breakfast—it’s just you and the utterly free, open metaphorical road.
But as I have come to realize, the excitement and lust for complete autonomy lies only in the fact that it is unattainable; we simply crave what we can’t have, and that’s just good old human nature. In truth, once you’ve stayed up late binge-watching The Office and eating junk for five consecutive days, the thrill of being reckless definitely fades to grey. Not only is it not as fun anymore, but there is also the unfortunate realization that your actions have consequences, like sexy under-eye bags and not fitting into your jeans.
This transition into what has become known as “adulting” is full of these disheartening revelations—like finding out that toothpaste and shampoo don’t just magically restock themselves. Whereas everything in life used to be 100% determined and managed by Mom and Dad™, as you get older, you start to do things on your own and make decisions for yourself. It’s a double-edged sword alright, but the worst part of it all is that no one prepares you for it—but that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
Hannah Montana was right when she said everybody makes mistakes: the winding, convoluted road to maturity is full of blunders and mishaps, but unfortunately, that’s just way the cookie crumbles. Hate to break it to you, but there’s no manual out there that will outline the step-by-step process of how to successfully #adult (well, I guess a cookbook is as close as you can get). The only way to grow is to learn from your own individual experiences, and as much as you may seek guidance from your parents, elders, and Mindy Kaling’s self-help series, advice can only go so far. In the end, it all comes down to implementation—making thoughts, words, and ideas into a reality.
Remember, every path begins with one, simple step—and that step can totally be making yourself instant noodles or calling the dentist to make your own appointment for the first time. This may be cheesy as hell, but every thriving 30-something was in your shoes back in the day. As you continue to navigate the ~real world~, don’t forget to celebrate the small victories and allow yourself to be okay with not being okay. Getting older is not an easy journey, but if it were, the destination would not be as rewarding.
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