Thou Shalt Not Commit ADULTING!
If I had a dollar for every time someone ever told me “being an adult is not fun,” I probably wouldn’t have to watch my paychecks disappear by 12:15am on the 15th and 30th of every month. Since I was seven-years-old and I made the unfortunate mistake of wishing that I was a grownup, I’ve been lectured and warned about the perils of adulthood by every coming-of-age television show, movie, novel, song, middle-aged person and senior citizen in the world. They told me again and again and again. They wrote it in birthday cards. They merched it on bumper stickers, bookmarks, T-shirts, phone cases, you name it. They put in billboards and commercials. They even said it in graduation speeches. In fact, my college graduation party looked like a scene out of a horror film.
As I went down the line to hug my family, their mouths said “congratulations” but their faces said “GET OUT!”
And just like any scary movie, I ignored all warning signs and I skipped eagerly to my doom. Now here I am: scared, tired, broke, bewildered, stressed and running for my life because adulthood is kicking my ass!
On behalf of the twenty-somethings community, I would like to say … Okayyyy … YOU WERE RIGHT!
You tried to warn us, we didn’t listen, so we had to learn the hard way. We get it now. We know your twenties are supposed to be difficult… trying … unrelenting. It’s the time to discovery yourself, make mistakes, build character, find strength, struggle, fail, freak-out and constantly question every decision you’ve ever made. I know I’m not supposed to have my shit together. I know I’m supposed to focus on the journey and not the destination. I know the journey starts at an entry-level job with a minimum salary. I know I’m supposed to barely make ends meet. I’m supposed to avoid my bank statements because they look like Chicago’s weather forecast in the dead of winter.
I know I’m supposed to sacrifice the things I want in order to get the things I need. I know I’m supposed to be torn between buying a new pair of shoes and paying my light bill. I’m supposed to be eating cereal for breakfast and Ramen noodles for dinner … every.single.day. I’m supposed to be overwhelmed by responsibility, bills, insurance, taxes, discipline. I know, I know, I KNOW!
What we don’t know is WHEN WILL THINGS GET BETTER? Where on the adulting syllabus does it tell you when the lesson ends? What percentage of my twenties will be spent in poverty? When can I expect to graduate on to a higher paying job? A nicer car? A bigger house? At what point do I stop drowning and start swimming? What’s the ETA on success and prosperity in this adulthood business? Does this thing come with a warranty? What’s the return policy if I decide that I’m not satisfied and I want to go back to being a kid?
For my fellow millennials who have been wondering the same things, don’t hold your breath waiting for the answers. So far I’ve heard nothing useful … just a bunch of vague cliché’s like “in due time,” “trust the process,” and my personal favorite; “you can’t have triumphs without trials.” I get the feeling there’s something they’re not telling us.
I’ve always asserted that I would survive in a horror film and I guess now’s my chance to prove it. What concerns me is that adulthood is like Michael Myers: no matter how fast you run, miraculously it ALWAYS manages to catch you just by walking. Not to mention, it’s relentless and seemingly NEVER quits. But neither do I! The key is to trust your instincts, stay sharp, don’t go into any dark alleys and, most importantly, DO NOT SPLIT UP! Don’t try to face adulthood alone; you’ll be eaten alive. Lean on thy neighbor and use any weapon or resource that comes into your path. If you fall, get right back up and keep running, adulthood can only keep you down if you let it. And no matter how hard and scary things get never let your fear dictate your fate … just face it!