When I was younger the idea of aging was something I was really looking forward to. I hated how kids had to take a siesta after eating lunch when they allow my sister to do whatever she wanted to do; I hated being forced to take countless of vitamins which taste so bad; I hated being denied of the chance to sit at the adult table and discuss things with my parents; I hated having my hair fixed, my clothes designated, my back showered with Johnson’s baby powder on days when I wanted to go outside and play with the other kids. I was just so eager to grow up.
But now that I’m turning twenty-two, and over the past few years that I have been trying my best to act like an adult, there are times when I wish I can skip the need to be mature and responsible.
Our society today puts us in a lot of pressure to have our lives figured out: where to see yourself in a few years, what job do you want and how well does it pay, are you still single, where are you going this summer, etc. etc. The standards are remarkably high especially when people feel like you ought to be doing something grand while at the peak of your youth so much so that doing something less than what they expect make you mundane, uninteresting or even helpless.
Of course, the best way to settle this problem is to actually deliver the expectations of the society not to please anyone but simply because you can. Some people are lucky at this having already figured out their lives as young as twenty then just constantly becoming the adults that they want to be. The problem lies then when you do not even know what to do yet or in my case, it is taking you a little bit longer to reach the potentiality that you have set out for yourself – putting it negatively, how do you not crack at the pressures of being and acting like an adult?
I wish I can help you answer that but I am just in the same dilemma as you are. I have been trying to memorize twenty seven provisions for tomorrow over coffee in a room with messy bed sheets, leftover donuts and some dirty dishes by the sink. The last person you ought to be hearing life changing advice from is me. Hehe.
But you see, another way to look at my situation is that you – whoever you are, whatever you are doing right now – are not alone. The crisis that you are going through is not something that you should be keeping to yourself because just as how clueless I am with what to do, I am very much interested as well in hearing your stories, like being a party in a role-playing game of how-to-adult or how-to-not-screw-up-in-life. Talk to your friends or siblings, even to your parents if you are comfortable with opening up to them.
Sure. Maybe it is desirable to have our lives figured out already by this point but it does not mean that not having that grand vacation to Europe by 23 or six-figure starting salary makes you less of a successful individual. We have to go back and look at ourselves on the inside: have you been a good person lately, are you wasting time hating on and envying people, when was the last time you gave yourself a pat on the back and rest more than you think you deserve, are you at least trying to find something that you are passionate about? These are questions which do not require affirmation by whatever standards and pressures that the universe is trying to put on you. These are some questions that you should actually be dealing with because it is very personal – since the idea of what success is should be personal in the first place. Having a timeline helps you set your path but a little deviation from it would not hurt you or damage you in any way. Take little steps. Breathe. Then conquer at your pace.
Okay. Aral na ko ulit.