I recently turned 21 and expected to have some sort of cinematic moment where I suddenly knew how to be an adult. I seriously tried to force this moment to happen. I was so unimpressed— I even created a super emotional playlist with songs that made me feel like I was in an indie movie about my life! Where was my dramatic moment? The moment when I, the protagonist of my own life, finally became an adult?
After a few weeks, I was finally convinced that I was going to be stuck at 20 forever. I was unimpressed, and kind of gave up on my “movie moment.” I reminded myself that life isn’t a movie and that I was being more dramatic than usual. If anything, I became kind of burnt-out. I was in need of a physical and mental break. And then, it happened. Sitting down and actually taking time to myself gave me my “moment.”
This whole dramatic thing (I’m calling it a “thing”) reminded me that your time at university is meant to be a journey that is YEARS long; in fact, I hope I’m still figuring things out past graduation. I can’t (and to be honest, I don’t want to) imagine having life figured out once I graduate because I want to keep having learning experiences for the rest of my life.
I want to face challenges and get stronger. I’m now a lot more comfortable with things that used to seem so difficult and two-dimensional— not all, but some— and suddenly see the beauty in the complexity of life. Typing it out makes me feel like I missed out on such obvious observations, but what I think I really needed was to take a step back from the chaos of life and realize stuff.
People expect to hit some major life event, like a Birthday, a new year, or even a new school semester, and come to major realizations and conclusions about life. And it’s pretty stressful to expect that moment and not get it. You could make the most emo playlists in the history of emo playlists, but sometimes it takes a moment to yourself, and then you realize, you don’t have to have everything figured out. You don’t have to have these huge major conclusions about life, but instead, you can make a few cool observations which remind you that life is about learning.
You’ve got your whole life to learn, so stop forcing yourself to figure everything out right now. That’s like skipping to the end of the movie! You need to have those experiences that are going to make the journey to those huge moments even more worthwhile. Perhaps I’m in a phase where I’ve got rose-tinted glasses on, but I don’t need to know exactly where I’m headed and have huge realizations. I’m perfectly fine with having fun and in the words of Kylie Jenner, “realizing things,” along the way.
I am still trying to pinpoint what a “real” adult looks like to me, and realized… that’s stupid. There’s no “real adult” and an “adult” isn’t something I should aspire to be. That’s a dumb label. I want to be a better version of myself with each new day; a person who reflects upon past experiences and consequently learns from them. I want to stop beating myself up for not being perfect, and I want to have fun. Despite being 21, I still feel and act like I’m twelve, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing at all.
Featured image via YouTube