When I was a kid, I couldn’t wait to be a teenager. I thought I would suddenly be oozing with confidence and always feel cool.
When I finally became a teenager, I was sorely disappointed. I was even more awkward than before. So I couldn’t wait to go to college. I would be away from my parents and would finally have the freedom to blossom.
When I got to college, I realized it wasn’t all it was cracked up to be. I looked forward to graduating and finally becoming a “real” adult. When I finished college, I lived with roommates, worked in retail, and waited tables.
At long last, I landed a professional job in my chosen field and got my own apartment.
“Finally. I’m a grown up,” I said to myself.
But I didn’t feel like one.
I felt like a kid playing house. I had my own space, my own job, and paid my own bills. But I still had no idea what I was doing with my life.
Eventually, I got engaged, then married, and had a baby. That baby is now two years old, and I still don’t feel like a grown up.
So, when exactly does this grown up thing start?
Most of the time, I still feel like I’m stumbling through life trying to find my way around. I thought I would have it all figured out by now. I assumed I would have a steady career, a retirement account (I seriously need to get on that), and be a homeowner.
I do adult things. I work from home. I’m in the process of starting my own business. My name is on a long-term lease. I have credit cards. I pay bills (most of them on time). I carried, birthed, and am raising a child. I can tell you the difference between a whole life insurance policy and a term life insurance policy. (I even HAVE a life insurance policy! At least I got something right.)
So why do I still feel like I’m a teenager talking about “When I grow up”?
I think I have finally reached an answer:
None of us feel like grownups. None of us know what we’re doing most of the time. I believe that deep down, even the most successful, put-together adults have no idea which way is up on any given day. I think we’re all faking it until we make it through this thing called life. We’re all just trying to do what makes us happy.
The thing is, I had all of these ideas about what my life would look like at the age of twenty-nine. It turns out that I was pretty far off. I’m not where I thought I would be. I sure as hell don’t feel as grown up as I thought I would feel.
But that’s okay. Because all the other grownups I know are still winging it too.
If you feel like you’re struggling to get it together, know this: You’re never going to feel like a grown up. Don’t wish away your life waiting for that perfect age or that perfect time in life to pursue your dreams.
That’s never going to happen. Confidence won’t just fall in your lap at a magical age. People won’t suddenly like you because you’re older now.
The best time to work toward that thing you want is now. Whether you’re thirteen or sixty-three, you’re never going to have your shit totally together. So just focus on enjoying life now. Take the bad with the good, work toward your goals, value your relationships, and experience life!