Even Adults Are Still Growing Up Sometimes


Sometimes, I still cannot believe I am supposed to be a grown up. I still nearly pee in my pants when I have to ask for a raise. I absolutely cannot stand that in-between time when I am waiting for the next big thing to happen. Why can’t it just jump out at me? I still justify using my credit card to pay for another credit card because it’s nice to have at least one card with a balance of zero, right? My school loans and their ever-growing interest terrify me because I have a master’s degree in some godforsaken, “save the human condition” deal that I absolutely believe is a calling but do not get paid nearly enough for to even think about making a dent in those payments.

I contemplate and plan out trips on the regular with my soul friends because sometimes home is really hard, damn it. We think about the places we can go to disappear and forget about where we are for just a little while. We think about making new homes. We discuss the value of homes. We talk about what home means now and especially what it used to mean. Then we end up back at the local coffee shop or dive bar pronouncing our devout dedication to the “City of Big Shoulders” (Chicago, for you guys who don’t know this city, but should). We are committed here and now to our family and our loved ones. There are always plane tickets and high gas prices to get us to and from when we need to escape for a minute.

Yet the more reasons I can come up with about how I am not in control, the more I know I really do have all the control I need. I have done heavy lifting to have this control in my life. We all have. I grew up the daughter of a psychologist and sometimes it amazes me how brightly this fact shines through in my life. I worked really hard from a young age to be balanced, to have balance and to radiate balance. During those brutal, preteen years, when I was in maybe sixth grade and outrageously emotional, my dad taught me about compartmentalizing and boxes and shelves. Sometimes we just need to put our shit on a shelf in our head and move forward. We need to be aware of what is hurting us and what is growing us. Sometimes we have to decide that it is okay to walk away and not visit that shelf in our head for awhile. This is not an excuse, this is being an adult and figuring out what works.

Yet, we live in a society that glorifies crazy, glorifies nomadic ways, glorifies not having a clue. Really, this just does us 20-somethings a disservice. We do have a clue. It’s just not that easy and it’s not supposed to be. We are supposed to feel the pain and the unknown like knives straight to the chest…and that’s okay. Being overwhelmed is also okay. Life can be overwhelming. It is a pretty big deal, you know. My dad tells me that it will be nerve-wracking every single time it is about something important. If whatever you are banking on does not happen, something more right will.

So now you have decided it will be okay. You know that it will in fact be fine and that it is far better to jump off the metaphorical cliff of the unknown than to stick around and stay stagnant. You sure as hell know by now that staying in bed and posting sad, depressing pictures on Instagram and looking up quotes about how hard life is won’t get you very far on this road that is your own. You go get drinks with your real, soul friends that belly feed you and remind you how brilliantly stunning you are. You figure out what has been making you sad or hurt or angry or whatever and you start to heal in those places. You figure out why you are not moving forward.

Sometimes we realize that we are not as broken as we think we are, we are just stuck. Time to get moving. You are not crazy and you are not ruined. Not even close. Get those boxes on a shelf, organize them according to what is feeding you and growing you and what is not. Start to revisit the tough ones when you are ready and know when it is too soon. Figure out what makes you nervous and excited and know that these are the important things. These are the things to fight for and these are the things worth losing sleep over.

As we continue to evolve, we must to remember how to be in the moment, put positive vibes into our thoughts and allow ourselves to enjoy this journey. I constantly remind myself to put my thoughts and my energy in the places that deserve them allow me to keep my head clear and remind me that I am just fine. We move forward with direction and the knowledge that something more right will always happen and we continue on ever evolving, ever journeying. Toward adulthood? Maybe. Toward a new adventure? Definitely.

featured image – Nicki Varkevisser