By: Stephanie Farrier
Life is tough and “adulting” is even tougher. There’s no way around it. By this time, you’ve discovered that Santa Clause and The Tooth Fairy aren’t real (I hate that you had to find out like this) but let’s face it, there haven’t been any shiny gold dollar coins under your pillow for some time now, and the only thing you want for Christmas is an undisclosed amount of money deposited into your bank account of which Old St. Nick seems to have misplaced the routing number to. Maybe you’ve realized that the Boogey Man is real but that instead of being tucked under the bed or safely locked inside the closet, he’s rented space in your head and has become quite comfortable there. This relocation has made him even more terrifying because it’s not his “boos” and “rawrs” that frighten us anymore, but rather the reflection of ourselves in the mirror that seem to look an awful lot like him. Self-defeating talk, doubt about the future, and reluctance to move on from the past can leave us just as paralyzed as the scared little kid in bed clutching onto his blanket, worried that something might be threatening his well being.
The truth is that at some point or another, we realize that becoming an adult does threaten our state of wellness, because it requires change. We find ourselves at a crossroads where we need to choose between continuing on with “life as usual” that’s been familiar and comfortable yet terribly unsatisfying, or responding to the call of true fulfillment though the road is narrow and riddled with responsibility. Is simply being well enough anymore? Is a life of ease and complacency our true purpose on this earth? Perhaps the uncertainty of adulting, however uncomfortable, is exactly what we need to strengthen and prepare us for the next level of living.
Don’t get me wrong, the uncertainty is scary! It challenges everything we thought we knew and turns the world as we understood it upside down. When we were kids, we relied on others; our parents or relatives to make our decisions for us. We trusted that they not only had the knowledge, but also our best interest at heart to lead us to the point where we would begin making choices for ourselves. It’s that process of transference that gets a little tricky though because we are now adults and in charge of ourselves. The ever-lingering realization that the choices we make dictate who we are is a heavy burden to bear. Am I going to study? Or am I going to party? Am I going to save? Or am I going to YOLO it and see what happens? Am I going to go to work? Or am I going to call out because, well, not today, Satan!
The difference between choices like these are that the seemingly easier ones provide instant but temporary grabs of happiness and the more difficult ones require temporary sacrifice but provide everlasting positive results. Our choices construct our character and dictate our destiny; they are the distinction between a life well-lived and a life fully lived. So while our schedules may be demanding, while there may be less time for fun, and while taking responsibility for our actions may seem draining, a newer, stronger, bolder you is emerging from the ashes. Don’t stop until you’ve cleared the clutter and endured the struggle. Don’t stop until things start making sense. And when they do, keep going, because if you stop, you’ll lose momentum. You’ll forget how you conquered that last thing and you’ll lose the voice you found that once helped you through it.
There is a verse from the Bible that’s always brought me comfort: “Not only so but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance, perseverance character, and character hope (Romans 5:3-4).” Happy adulting!