Being 23 is a slap in the face. Put more lightly, it’s like a giant wake up call. Basically it’s the year to stop feeling sorry for myself when life deals the bad cards. It’s otherwise known as growing up or “adulting,” and this is just the beginning. Looking back, I’ve had a pretty easy life so far, and I have my parents to thank for that. I didn’t really have to start dealing with the harder stuff until I got out on my own.
Dramatically speaking, this is my reaction to it all:
The truth is, as you move into adulthood you start to experience adversity more and more. Yes, there are a lot of kids who experience it growing up, but this is just from my perspective. You start dealing with losing loved ones, supporting yourself financially, things not going your way, tedious responsibilities, and being responsible for your response to it all. You understand that life isn’t meant to be easy but worth living for sure. Just when I thought college was going to be my wakeup call, I grew up even more 2 years later.
I’ll always need my parents and they will always be there to support me, but at the end of the day I’m responsible for the way I handle my circumstances from now on. When I lost a family member when I was really young, hugs from my mom and dad were enough to make me feel better. When I lost another family member this past year, nothing was enough until I took control of my attitude towards it. I understood what was happening and therefore was also responsible for how I responded to the whole experience. I knew I had to grieve, that I had a supportive family, but we each had our own responsibility to continue on with life. That’s called being an adult. It’s been one of the biggest lessons so far in my adulthood.
The same goes for everything else that’s thrown my way. I have people who support me, but I’m the most responsible. I don’t feel sorry when people are dealt the bad cards in life. I feel sorry when they’re not prepared to handle them. Are you ever prepared to lose a loved one, lose your job, get in a terrible car crash, have a high risk surgery, etc? NO, but you can be prepared to understand that everything in life happens as it is supposed to, even if we don’t agree with it.
A lot of times tough situations are hard to handle because you never think certain things could happen to you. Being aware that at any given moment your life could change is something that helps when the harder things in life come along. If you were able to go back 10 years, I bet you wouldn’t be able to predict all that has happened since, and there are plenty more surprises to come. Knowing that despite the adversity, everything really is going to be ok is so important. Nothing is temporary; not the worst things and not even the best things. Life is fluid like that. When you’re aware of this, you just keep going and doing the best you can, and then when something hard happens you can handle it with a stronger mindset.
I don’t really know the best way to do this whole growing up thing. All I know is that I’m starting to see life differently. It’s a little scarier than when I was young inside my bubble of Syracuse, NY, but I think the mystery of the future is what keeps me going.
Always keep your life a little mysterious, and welcome adversity because it’s inevitably coming.