By: Devin Riggs, Regular ContributorJuly 7, 2015
When I was a kid, transitioning into adulthood seemed so simple and seamless, like you fall asleep one night and the next morning you’re an adult and all the adult things that made no sense before are suddenly clear; taxes, bills, relationship…SPOILER ALERT. That’s not how it works.
Adulthood is messy and confusing and every bit as difficult as adolescence.
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Last weekend I attended a going away party for one of my oldest and closest friends. After years and years of hard work and oddball jobs he finally received the opportunity to become a firefighter in Texas. He also recently proposed to his girlfriend of several years, and she is moving with him.
I’ve known this kid for over half my life. It was a weird feeling to see him so matured —taking such big steps in his life, because I’m not necessarily in that same place. Several of my friends are homeowners or married or have kids. I’ve only recently secured a full time job and will finally move out of my parent’s basement into my own apartment in the next couple months. And for a long time I thought that meant there was something wrong with me, and that I had failed in the game of life because I wasn’t getting married and having kids before age 25.
Life is a funny thing that way…how we compare our journey to others, believing that we are falling behind. How we never really feel ready for those big moments, those big choices, but we make them anyway. Sometimes we think we’re ready and discover later that we weren’t. Sometimes we’re ready but someone else isn’t.
I’m still very much learning how to be independent and out in the world on my own. I’m learning how to take care of myself. And it’s okay. It’s okay that I’m not married with 2.5 kids and a white picket fence. It’s okay that some of my friends are.
It’s okay that we’re in different places in our lives.
It’s okay, because when I do get to that next step of adulthood, I’ll have another friend to help me through it. He’ll be a phone call away to listen to my rants and tell jokes to lighten the mood when I’m freaking out. He’ll give me weird advice that won’t actually help and then reassure me that everything will be all right.
It’s surreal realizing that we’re all apparently grown-ups now, doing grown up things like having a full time job and paying rent and maybe finding a person who we think would be rad to spend the rest of our lives with and then maybe having kids with that person. It’s a scary thought sometimes, but it’s also pretty cool that we’ve made it this far and have gone through so much.
I wish my friend the best of luck in this new stage of his life. It’s weird to see him so grown-up, but it’s also incredibly awesome. Adulthood is a crazy adventure and maybe we’ll never feel like we’ve finally “made it” because there will always be some new challenge, but we’ve got each other and that’s pretty important.
How has adulthood been for you? Have you struggled with comparing yourself to others your age? Tell us below!
Devin has a degree in education with a focus in English. She is working to publish her first collection of poetry while also learning the art of patience. Her passions include Doctor Who, penguins, hats and scarves, potatoes, dancing, photography, and making people happy. She believes in the healing powers of music, spending time in the great outdoors, and a good night sleep.
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