I turn 24 in 6 days. Mid-twenties. I hope this age will look good on me, that by the time I reach a quarter century old, I’m proud of the woman I’ve grown to be.
Growing up (for me at least) is hard. I think that I make it look like I have my shit together more than I actually do. And I mean, when I think about it, I pretty much do have my shit together, but that’s never how it feels. How it feels is that I’m one paycheck, anxiety attack, bender away from dropping the ball and making a mess of everything. I doubt myself a lot and let myself feel increasingly petrified that I have no idea what I’m doing and it’s only a matter of time before everything catches up to me.
So, what does growing up mean? Am I “there” yet? Is it defined by an earlier bed time, more managed bank account, Big Girl apartment? Because if so, then not so much. With all our freedoms and choices, how much does growing up have to do with a lifestyle versus a mentality; choices versus an outlook?
Growing up for me has meant realizing that priorities come in all different shapes and sizes, you may not understand other people’s but they are the most important thing to set for yourself if you want a gratifying life. Growing up has meant learning to sit with the uncomfortable, the uncertain and try desperately to tackle my anxiety instead of just being stunted by it. It has meant no one is there to stop me from closing the bar on a Tuesday, but no one will also be there in the morning to help get my ass out of bed and to work. Growing up has meant coming to terms with my pace in life and (working on) putting an end to the constant comparison to other people’s lives. Growing up has meant self acceptance while also picking out the not so pretty parts of my character, the ones I don’t want to be defined by and making a true effort to change them. Growing up has meant crying. A lot. Growing up has meant learning from the past and making peace with it.
Growing up has meant that some days I forget all of these things and throw myself a Pity Palooza.
Growing up means some days I will feel it and some days I will have to fake it, but I need to show up anyway.
Growing up means living for the small things while never forgetting to marvel at the bigger picture. The Discovery Channel helps me with this one a lot.
Growing up means making a shit load of plans. And managing to be adaptable when the Universe laughs at those plans.
Overall, I have witnessed that growing up means trying your best, putting in a lot of effort that may or may not go unnoticed and taking a lot of risks that may or may not work out in your favor. Growing up means you shouldn’t keep score, but you should pay attention.
Growing up means you can pick your own friends, budget and food but should keep in mind those choices can help make or break your health. You reap the rewards or consequences of what you put in to your life.
Growing up means you don’t have to have it all figured out, no one has it ALL figured out. Sometimes you are going to be scared and lonely and feel misunderstood. You are going to have answerless questions and make mistakes and feel like you are so overwhelmed you can’t breathe, but that’s when you show up anyways, listen to your gut, let people in, tell someone you fucking love them, ask for a damn hug, eat your favorite food and realize the older you get, the more time feels increasingly fleeting and you more than anyone have control over your happiness.