Adulthood. Something that we feared as a child and something that we fear now. But why is this? As a child, we fear that when we grow up we will lose the things that we value when we are young. Leisure, a lack of responsibility, and ease of life just to name a few. Ironically, these are the things that I now look back on during my younger years as once taking for granted. As we travel through life from childhood to adulthood the reasons behind the fear of growing old change. The fear doesn’t come with the idea that we lose the aforementioned values but that we suddenly have to deal with them.
After college, I started to realize that I had it pretty easy up until that point. Being let out into the real world is not really something that anyone can prepare you for but it undoubtedly comes flying at you with full force. Full time jobs, bills, real relationship issues, car troubles, you name it. Throughout my 20s, the expression, “when it rains, it pours” had never rung so true. If it’s not one thing, it’s another, and so on and so forth.
As I neared my 30th birthday, I spent the last few months in my 20s reflecting on my life up until this point. I have attempted to analyze where I may have gone wrong or if I could have done anything differently. Why did things turn out this way? Will things ever settle back into a state of normalcy?
There’s no way I can change anything that has happened in the past. The past is the past, and honestly there’s really no reason why I should want to change it at all. Everything that has happened up unto this day has molded me into the individual that I have become and I can finally say that I am proud of who that person is. The struggles, feelings of failure, and mistakes that we experience in life are all naturally occurring situations that create the strong natured beings that we are. Sure, in the moment we may scream in frustration or cry ourselves to sleep but now, as I look back on my past years, I see myself and I feel PRIDE. I have grown and blossomed into a strong, independent woman who knows what she wants in life and is not afraid to chase her dreams.
A friend once told me, “No one is ever going to want something more than you want it for yourself.” Brilliant and oh so true! We can be motivated, encouraged, and pushed, but it ultimately takes ourselves to discover our purpose and find our own version of happiness. Making the decision to set out on this path of discovery is where my journey begins.
About a year and a half ago, I decided that I needed to leave the relationship that I was in. I needed to leave the city where I had spent the last five years of my life. I needed to leave the people I had met along the way, some of which I love and miss dearly and some of which were poisonous to my life.
In the year since my separation, I have felt everything from guilt, frustration, confusion and remorse to extreme happiness, pride and reassurance. You name it, I’ve felt it. However, despite the whirlwind of emotions and feelings that you may experience, there is one very important lesson that I learned along the way. No one can talk you into or demand the feeling that you ultimately experience when you come to terms with accepting a divorce. It has to happen organically and on your own terms and because of this process, I can say now that I am ready. I am ready to move on and explore the next phase of my life. I am no longer scared about where I will end up because I know that I will end up exactly where I want to be.
Being an adult shouldn’t be scary. It should be exhilarating! I look back on myself as a high school and college student and I cant help but chuckle at the things that used to cause so much stress. I see a child crying in the store and I want to say “Hey kid! You don’t even know what real problems are!” But I don’t because I’ve come to realize that this is how life works. As we age, we don’t necessarily add years to our lives but through the knowledge and experiences that we gain we end up adding life to our years.
If I could tell my 21-year-old self that in nine years she would rather spend Friday night watching a movie on the couch, have been married and divorced, currently be living at home and still searching for her place in this world, I would have laughed in my own face!
I know better than that now. And I am ok with all of the above because, again, it has molded me into the person that I am today. I embrace my life and realize that it should not be taken for granted! Is life hard? Absolutely. Will I struggle? Sure. Can I learn to embrace these struggles and fight through the hard times? YES. Why? Well first of all I have no choice. You can’t just sit in the corner and cry until someone brings you a cookie. But, most importantly, you will fight because this is your life and you have the power to change it’s course.
If you wake up one day and you realize that you are unhappy you must realize that you can change that. Hate your job? Find a new one. Take a class, explore a new city, travel on your own, find your passion!
Despite what we think when we are young, life doesn’t end when you become an adult. In fact, it is only just beginning. So lets not fear adulthood, lets cherish it. Cherish the wisdom and experiences that brought us here in the first place. You made it this far and there is no reason to stop when there is so much more living to do.
AUTHOR: Fay Hamilton
AUTHOR BIO: My name is Fay. I recently moved back to Columbus and have been enjoying my time exploring everything that this city has to offer. I am also recently divorced so I have been learning to embrace this next chapter of my life. My hobbies include yoga, food (cooking and trying new restaurants), writing, photography, fashion and travel! I am learning to live life to the fullest and never take a day for granted. Friends and family are my world and I am so thankful to be back in their presence!
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