When I was a teenager and thought about growing up and becoming a fully fledged adult I always imagined that I would have my life really together. I had my 5-year life plan and as a very naive 19-year old I truly believed I would have my life completely sorted out at 27, be married and possibly on the way to having children. I can't help but look back and laugh at myself for how easy I thought being an adult was going to be. And really I'm not surprised I did think this way because no adult really tells you how it actually is. Mostly because they're all making it up as they go along and lately I've realised there isn't anybody I know who is all that great at being an adult and it's so normal to struggle.
THERE IS NO STARTER GUIDE
Even if you talk to people who are older than you or your parents till you're blue in the face there is no way that you will be able to plan and prepare yourself for adulthood. There is sadly no manual about how to handle things and it's sadly something that you just have to do as when the situation comes up. And you certainly get to the point in life where you constantly question why you weren't taught more useful things when you were in school. There is no right way to do things, we all have our different processes and what works for one will never work for another in the same way. As much as we might wish for a guide to being an adult 101 it doesn't exist and we're all making it up as we go along.
WE'RE NOT ALL RUNNING THE SAME RACE
In general, up until the age of around 16, we're all kind of on the same path. For the most part, we're all in school working towards getting good grades in our exams and then probably going to college and then university. But after university, it's a completely open road and I think this is where the majority of us tend to struggle. When your life has been so planned out from the beginning and then it's yours to live exactly how you please it can be so scary, amazing of course but still pretty damn terrifying. As we all obviously don't live the same life we're never going be hitting the same milestones at the same time. And even though we all know this when it feels like you're not doing things at the same pace as someone else it can make you feel like a total failure. Although it might feel like a huge deal at the same time it really doesn't matter if you're not getting married or moving out or buying a home at the same time as everyone else. Trying to constantly keep up is exhausting and it doesn't make us any happier.
IT'S TOTALLY OK TO MISS HOME OR MOVE OUT LATER ON IN LIFE
Something I feel like you're not allowed to say when you get past university is that you miss home. We probably all encounter homesickness at some point and miss our family but it's something we're very much expected to grow out of. And I think we do to a point but even at 27 and only recently moving out properly I miss home, I miss seeing my dad and sister every day as well as our family dog and that's ok. For so long I felt ashamed that I still missed home but I'm so close with my family and would happily spend every day with them so it would probably be strange if I didn't miss them. There is a huge amount of pressure for people to move out as soon as they get back from university and that is certainly something I wanted to do but I did feel a lot of expectation on me to do so. For a number of reasons I didn't move out till later in life and that's ok, there are so many presumptions that if you don't move out until later on it means your family are paying for you and it's not the case. Having enough money to be able to move out isn't easy and so many people now stay at home now if they're able to as it allows them to try and save up to be a little more financially secure when moving out whether that is renting or buying a place.
EVERYONE IS MAKING IT UP AS THEY GO ALONG
Probably the most honest thing to take away from this post is that most people are making their lives up as they go along. Some people have a plan and they stick to it but for me, one of the biggest things the past few years has taught me is that often there is no point in planning. Life has a funny way of throwing curveballs your way so you can't plan at all and you just have to take each day as it comes and try your best. And for the most part, I think so many of us are doing the same thing, we try our best to have a plan but it rarely comes to fruition. So many people I talk to say that they don't feel like an adult even when they're doing some serious 'adult' things like owning a house and have a full-time career. The Internet can make it seem like everyone knows what they're doing but really no-one has that much of a clue.
We all know that we have to have a certain level of responsibility in life but that doesn't mean we're always going to be awesome at handling it. And there is no denying that being an adult is difficult and you're allowed to find it hard. As a society we expect everyone to be amazing at handling things constantly and don't allow anyone room for error and it's absolutely ridiculous. If we see someone struggling or not managing absolutely everything we seem to instantly judge them and call them out for being weak, spoiled and a whole host of other cruel insults. We're all just trying our best, as cliche as it might sound and that's all that matters.
What are your thoughts on adulting? Are you just making it up as you go along too?