Over the last few weeks, I feel like I’ve realised a few big things which can be summed up in a simple sentence: adulting is complicated. Only a few years ago, I was doing that thing most hormonal teenagers do when they feel the urge to be independent and make every single decision; wish I could grow older, faster.
Part of me thought at this point in my life I’d have it all together and figured out. Part of me thought I’d be roaming around the world freely with my facts in check and my dreams in hand. I thought I’d be just like them: a fully functioning adult who had complete authority over every aspect of my decision making.
Decisions were simpler back then and I guess that was the reason why I was brazen enough to want them all to myself. The idea of being in complete charge of my life was one that seemed like the be-all-end-all.
Now, I’m what many call an adult. Fully functioning? I’m not sure I’d trust my own decisions and I sure as hell don’t really feel like one – I also don’t feel like a teenager anymore, which complicates it all the more. I think in most aspects, I got exactly what I wished for when I was a teenager. I got my degree, my adult bag and a bank card that makes me seem fit for the role I’m supposed to play, but the constant question on my mind is, can I really play it right? How does one even play it right? Is it by following dreams or paying bills? Is it by chasing happiness or chasing success? Is it by becoming the ‘perfect’ version of yourself or becoming the better version of yourself?
I’m at a stage in life where the next step could most likely define the rest of my life or at least a big chunk of it. I’m pretty sure it has always been this way though, I just wasn’t aware of it in this way. Don’t we spend our lives prior to adulthood already making big decisions, whether they be ours or made on our behalf? It all seems like a big deal to me now although it’s nothing super new anyways.
The idea that every decision I make today shapes tomorrow does freak me out a little and to make things worse even the decisions I don’t make or leave hanging carry the same amount of power. If I wear that blue shirt today it could change the course of my day, if I reach out to that friend it could change the way we go down in history, if I take that job it could change the course of my life, if I don’t pick up that call I may never get to say goodbye… What I’m trying to say is, I guess life is really just a series of little-big decisions and I might have only realised it now that the ball is completely in my court. The little may become the gigantic difference in our story, and what seemed like a big deal at a time may quickly become the little but peculiar detail we only recall now and then.
Maybe, it’s just me who overcomplicates the simple and overthinks the straightforward as I have been known to do more often than not, but I do often wonder if there is a ‘right’ road we’re supposed to take when we make decisions or if we do just eventually end up where we are meant to really be regardless at the end of the road.
Some might call it destiny or fate, others might just call it the circle of life, but it always leads back to the beginning in the end. Most people I talk to that are in the same phase of adulting as myself also express some level of fear and reluctance to grow up and be an adult to all effect. I believe it comes down to realising the weight of decisions and all the power they possess. It comes down to discovering that you truly know a lot less than you thought and instead of having it all together, you might honestly be a little bit of a mess a lot of the time.
I’m not sure there’s a ‘right’ way to take in the journey as I’ve heard a few people who have already been on most parts of the trip say that their mistakes were what led them to the right path. I mean, if there was a straightforward and easy way to reach our goals, happiness and purpose, wouldn’t we all want to take it?
I’ve realised lately that I’ve gotten so caught up with wondering and questioning and planning what comes next that I’ve perhaps forgotten to actually take the next step forward. The fear of the weight of my every next move has been keeping me from even attempting certain things I know for a fact that I want. It’s the fear of mistakes and consequence and the fact that I could do it all wrong and not get a chance to hit replay even one more time.
I came across a quote yesterday which spoke volumes to me. It read: ‘A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step’. Could this be exactly the answer I’ve been looking for? Maybe, there’s no right way to get to where we want to get to. Maybe adulting will not get easier quick and all the answers won’t be found in heartbeat. Maybe the true test is to see if we are ready and able to take that single step and be brave enough to witness what happens next.
Your restless romantic roamer