See ehn, this adulting thing na wa. Please who else is tired?
Remember when all we wanted to do was grow up? It simply is the funniest thing how at the time, we could not grow up fast enough. We were tired of people treating us like kids and were always quick to point out that we were not children anymore. LOOOL.
I remember sitting for hours, pained; you know the kind of pain that hurts deep where you want to cry but the tears do not roll out, because you have just been treated like a “child” and all you wanted to do was take control of your life without any restrictions or boundaries? Yeah that pain. I felt that pain one too many times. I would be up for most of the night plotting and scheming how my best years would be once I became an adult and there was no one to tell me what to do.
Growing up, the “tomboy” in me hated the fact that my church clothes had to be picked out for me by my mom. I just wanted to wear my pant trousers and kito sandals not girly dresses and shoes. I wanted to wear my kito sandals everywhere! I would cry and wish I was grown up just so I could wear my kito sandals. “When I’m grown up, I would wear my kito sandals everywhere!” I would think to myself. LOL.
I would sit and stare at the wall for hours as if by some magical happening, I would suddenly be 25 drowning in a pile of jeans pant trousers and kito sandals…and I would look forward to the day I was old enough to dress how I wanted, act how I wanted, go where I wanted without any curfew…
Bills? What did that mean then? I really cannot stop laughing in my right now as I write this.
😅Who else is laughing and crying at themselves now?
Now, sometimes when I get overwhelmed, I sit and stare at the wall for some minutes (because there’s no time to stare for hours) as if by some magical happening, time would suddenly reverse itself and I would find myself back in my childhood waking up from sleep to go “Wow, so it was all a dream?!” Welp.
Nowadays, we are all just trying to figure it out, aren’t we? And the truth is, the older we get, the kinder and more accepting we tend to get of the older generation because now, we can understand better why they did certain things they did or did not do certain things.
We realize that life is just what it is; life…with all its ups and downs, lessons and experiences, excitements and disappointments. We realize that nothing really prepares anyone for life and the cards they are dealt. You find yourself here on whatever part of the planet you are birthed (without your permission, I might add) and you make it work!
The truth is at the end of the day, no one person has all the perfect answers on how life works; relationships, career, faith, marriage, parenting and so on. Everyone is just figuring it out on the go, even the life coaches! So, while it is easy to look at the older generation and expect them to have all the answers or be A1 in our books in their marriages, parenting styles or just life in general, I realize now that they were also just figuring life out in terms of the cards they were dealt and acting based on all they knew. Naturally, they were bound to make mistakes as they went along and most likely still do.
Anyone that knows me personally knows that an element of life that I have fallen in love with and come to deeply appreciate is Growth. I love growth and what it brings; growth in different facets of life and the opportunity life gives to be able to look back and recognize growth. And in growth, there are lessons learned.
Some of the lessons adulthood is teaching me are:
Life is in stages
This is one tough lesson I have learned and am still learning. Life comes in stages and phases which you are not allowed to dwell in for too long at a time. By entering into the world, even though without your consent, you have signed the terms and conditions of life. You have to get an education, then graduate, then get a job or have a profitable source of income, be financially independent, get married (if you choose), have kids (if you choose) and retire (if you choose).
Each of these stages come with experiences, lessons, friendships, and probably relationships that may be difficult to let go of. In moving from one stage to the other, you may have to move halfway across the world to a new country, build new friendships and experience life on your own terms.
Sometimes, it is hard to let elements of the past go when we desperately want to hang on to it. Some of us refuse to let go of our childhood fantasies or lifestyles and we find ourselves seeking comfort and laughter in cartoons or childlike experiences because we are then reminded of the absolutely priceless feeling that comes with such.
I remember when at some point, my sister and I (being just the two children) would spend almost every minute of our lives together, fighting and making up and fighting some more (over everything!). When she got married and started her cute little family, it was really hard letting go of our past lives and realizing that each person has a path to follow. All I wanted to do most times was go back to when we would fight over why the room light should or should not be off at 9pm. Now, we are both trying to figure out life individually (still maintaining a close relationship) but from different angles and in different cities.
And the same goes for life. We cannot deny that life comes in stages up until death. In growing, we learn that not all relationships or friendships are made to last but each stage of life presents learning opportunities and experiences that can be treasured. Granted, moving from one stage to the other can be difficult, but these stages are a part of life and the sooner you accept and learn to love them for what they are and what they bring, the easier it becomes to experience life to the fullest.
Additionally, a very important aspect of recognizing that life is in stages is in in learning to be patient through each stage and trusting the process. We often compare ourselves with others; we compare our worth (not necessarily net worth), our values, talents, progress and growth to that of others and we are miserable because we only see their accomplishments while managing to lose focus of ours. We want it all and we want it all now. BUT we must recognize that some of these stages are time sensitive and patience is required.
We constantly have to remind ourselves that social media only captures the highlights reels of one’s life and not the behind-the-scenes. Don’t get caught up in your desire to “arrive” at the final destination. Enjoy each stage and the experiences it brings. “The joy is in the climb”.
Do it scared!
This is worth the ponder:
“What would you do if fear no longer stood in your way? What would happen if you were no longer afraid to dive in, head first and go after your dreams, live your visions and realize your purpose? What would you do if you had no limitations?“
Doing it scared is one of the most profound lessons I am learning from adulthood. Wow. Think of how many things you desire to do but have pulled the plug on because of fear.
The truth is sometimes it is easy to give in to fear or to procrastinate on our dreams and goals because of fear. We often let fear captivate our heart and thoughts. We find ourselves being consumed by only all the negative “what if’s”. “What if I fail?” “What if it goes wrong?” “What if they mock me?” “What if I cannot do it?”
How about from today, we start asking ourselves “What if this works? What if this goes right?” “What if I can accomplish this and what if I’m successful at this?” “What do I stand to learn from this?” How about if and/or when we fail, we choose to fail forward, seeing the failures as learning opportunities and bounce back no matter how tough it may be?
It is said a lot that “Everything you want is on the other side of fear” and I believe it. It’s funny how once you overcome the fear and get into what you desire, you later realise there was really nothing to be scared of in the first place. BUT then the next time you find yourself trying something new, fear creeps up again and consumes you to the point you feel stagnant! I guess it just goes to show that fear is something we constantly have to battle especially in figuring out different aspects of our lives.
“He has not learned the first lesson of life who does not every day surmount a fear.”– Ralph Waldo Emerson
Adulthood does not seem to make it any easier because life presents so many choices and opportunities. Not knowing where to stick your head or if where you want to stick your head will work out can cause you to just maintain a more or less seemingly auto pilot approach to life. Learning to do things scared however, will ultimately give you an upper hand in life.
Trust me when I say, a whole lot of people on this planet are doing things scared everyday; not knowing whether or not it would work out. Most times, we only see the success stories and not the behind-the-scenes. You do not have to wait for the perfect time or to be “good enough” before you take that first step.
In this stage of life, I am learning to do things scared, to put myself out there more and to let my little light shine in whatever way I possibly can. Some days are tougher than the others, but I keep reminding myself “How would you know if this would work if you don’t try?” It is not alway easy but I am willing to try.
So, while adulting, go out there, believe in yourself and make stuff happen! And…
The truth is navigating one’s life during his/her 20s and 30s can be pretty nerve-racking, overwhelming and sometimes downright confusing and discouraging. In one way or the other, we are still trying to figure out so much all at once. We are taking risks, failing, getting rejected, knocked down and bouncing back up everyday. We are making life decisions that could ultimately make us or break us. Sometimes it gets too much to handle and we find that some people tend to quit life all together.
BUT we are trying our very best and we will make it!
What is adulthood teaching you? Kindly share in the comments!
The second part of this two part series sharing lessons I am learning from Adulthood will be up next week Saturday so look out for it.
P.S, From 5th August 2019, I’ll be sending out life-changing, straight-to-the point and concise weekly emails guaranteed to help start your week right! Click the link here to sign up so you don’t miss out on anything! https://mailchi.mp/06750630c287/weeklyemails