Adulting: What I Learned in My Twenties
First of all, let’s be honest. Nobody knows what the f*** they’re actually doing. Your twenties (or life in general) is like a thunderous storm of falsity and new experiences. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. Remember that everyone’s path is unique and even though your friend from high school just bought a house and had a baby doesn’t mean they’re not crying themselves to sleep every night wondering how the hell they’re going to pay for all their bills. Just because you still live at home and wear sweats more than real clothes doesn’t mean you’re failing. It means you are discovering a path that is unique to you. Just try and know what that path could be. Sometimes you just have to jump head first into life and “fake it til you make it.” When I was just a young twenty-two, I was assisting the Department Head of Makeup on a major motion picture. I had never worked on a professional set before. I just started doing things I knew and worked my way through the rest. Which makes it sound way easier than it was.
The important part is that you don’t lose yourself to the idea of being an adult. Growing up doesn’t mean having to quit the things that you deem as childish. Usually these things will be your saving grace in tough times and they may even be the guide that molds you from adolescence to adulthood. It’s okay to laugh, it’s okay to be wonderous and curious about all things. You don’t have to stop being playful. In fact, you must be playful! Keeping the fun in life will keep you from death. Tight lips only create tighter lifestyles and relationships. Remember, your world is a mirror. What do you want the reflection to look like?
Will it look like everyone else’s? I certainly hope not. You are here to create a unique imprint on humanity and you have every right to create a life that defines who you are. Having a degree and an office job with tons of money will mean nothing if your heart doesn’t sing at the opportunity to go to work. Nor will painting masterpieces. I think the biggest piece of advice I can give about growing up is to check in with yourself and ask every day if what you’re doing is true to who you are and what you love best. The rest is just distraction and self judgement. It’s really more simple than we think.
To live a robust life you cannot succumb to complacency. We are never done learning, expanding, growing. You will be growing up until your dying day, so do not settle into a routine that does not serve you. It would be a great disservice to yourself to marinate in the pool of “good enough” for the rest of your life. There are so many experiences to be had in a lifetime why keep yourself from that gift? Do not miss out on the beauty of irregularity because society tells you to get in line and be successful like “everyone else.”
I might work at a coffeeshop, nanny, and sell painted shoes for work while building my dream career as a writer but I am capable of lasting relationships, real friendships, I contribute to maintaining my own home, own a dog, own my car, have zero debt, am capable of building an impressive savings account and still have time to make my dreams a reality without having to sit behind a desk and slave my life away for someone else. I’m not bragging, I am trying to prove to you that there are a million and one different ways to be “successful” by your own definition. “Adulting” is about getting it done in a way that is compatible to who you are without sacrificing all the time you need for the evolution of your journey.
Be alive! Embrace life’s experiences in all their glory; the shitty ones, the best ones, the unbelievable ones and the ones that blind side you and break your heart open.