Are y’all ready for this? I know, I know, you cannot handle another thing. You’re constantly bombarded with new information, articles, blogs, podcasts, and self-help books that promise a much-needed buoy thrown out in the tumultuous sea that is life as an adult. I. Get. It. You can’t take any more advice!
Well, try this on for size.
It’s gonna get better, y’all. I promise.
That’s it. That’s the [gist]. I wanted to go ahead and lead with that straight outta the gate. I know you’re needing a little affirmation, and not just a positivity, bubblegum wrapper, encouraging quote to try and make you feel like you’re not drowning. Cause let’s face it. You’re drowning. But it won’t always be this way. That’s all I’m trying to say.
This past week my husband heard a song he liked on the radio, and naturally, he pulled up the group later on YouTube so we could enjoy it together. As we listened to a couple of their jams together (enjoying the sound because it sounded like something from the [90s]) the words to one of the songs stuck out to me. The young, lead singer, who looked to be maybe , sang about his desire to take life back to when it was simple. He crooned about bedtime stories and running outside, long summers and swimming all day. I believe the title of the tune included the words “stressed out,” and as he sang about getting up early to make more money, I spoke out loud to the lad.
I said, “Just wait until you’re , man. It will be simple again, then.”
My husband laughed, “no doubt,” he replied.
And that’s the truth of it my dear, young, stressed out friend. A fantastical thing is going to happen to you, and though you can’t fathom it now, I promise it’s coming. If you’ve been through a human growth and development course you may remember learning about Erickson’s Stages of Development, but even if you haven’t, that’s cool because it’s even better than anything ole Eric conjured up. Let me try to explain.
In your [20s], you’re trying to figure out who you are. You’re learning to be out on your own, pay bills, maybe further your education. You’re working hard, with what sometimes feels like little payout, and you’re many times struggling to make ends meet. You find yourself desiring a certain place in life, and what I mean by that is the place where you imagine your contentment will be found. You long for more, and you have certain ideals of what will make those dreams a reality. Nothing wrong with dreaming, mind you, but much of your thought-life and attention is given to this pursuit. The pursuit of happiness.
You’re working to build relationships. Real, adult relationships. You’re finding your people, your tribe. You’re building the grownup version of the high school clique, but with less of the judgment and backstabbing. Lol. You’re making lifelong pals, and maybe also looking for lifelong love, of the romantic kind.
It’s hard to find your people when you’re still struggling to know who you are. It’s tough to find love when in reality you’re running from it. It’s hard to find healing, trust people with your heart, and tear down the fences you built in adolescence. A lot of young adulthood is talking to one another with just the tip of your head peeking over that backyard fence. It’s so much easier to duck back inside with a blanket, book, and loyal pet. Yet still, you long for what’s beyond the fence. Stepping outside is scary.
Your [20s] and [30s] are spent finding yourself and then finding the people like you. It’s a time or personal growth, but it’s also still a time of self-doubt. You care a little too much what other people think, and even in your [30s] as you try and tell yourself to not give a crap, you still kinda do. Breaking out of the peer-led box is just as hard as knocking down fences.
And oh, the search for fulfillment. In jobs, relationships, body image. Young adulthood is a journey of discovery, discovering what makes you happy, and letting go of what doesn’t. It’s a trek through hills and valleys. It’s finding out that what you thought you wanted in life, you start to realize, “eh, not so much.”
It’s a time of heartbreak.