Growing Pains

Growing Pains

When I was transitioning into an adolescent, I felt like my world was falling apart. My body was changing, I was a hormonal mess, and I just felt like I wanted to curl up in a ball and die. My problems seemed so intense and let me tell you, when you’re 14, YOUR PROBLEMS MATTER. They are your issues, nobody feels the way you do, and absolutely nobody has any idea what you’re going through. Haha! Or so, you thought. Then I started to grow and mature and I realized that everyone goes through what I did. People did understand, it was normal, and (welp!) those problems actually didn’t matter at all.
Fast forward to now. I’m 25, sort of lost, and in a weird way going through some of the same trials and tribulations of my teenage angst years. On my 25th birthday, I had a quarter life meltdown. Entering adulthood is a little more nerve-wracking then entering adolescence. When I entered college, I KNEW where I’d be at 25. I would be established, have a steady relationship, and be close to content with my life. I remember talking with my friends and saying “We have PLENTY of time until then.” Um. Alright. So, I woke up on my birthday this year and had the sudden realization that I AM THAT AGE. I’m nowhere near where I thought I’d be and I panicked. I cried for a solid hour that morning and then stayed in bed for the remainder of the morning and thought about the last 25 years of my life. Unlike my 14 year old meltdown, it lasted a few hours and I had come to the conclusion that I need to relax. I ended up having one of the best days of my life. I also began to notice that everyone around me was/is going through the same exact thing and I had a solution to my mega-huge-twenty-something-year-old-problems:
Just. Be. Happy.
That’s it! Those three words are so easy to say, but for some reason everyone has such a hard time wrapping their heads around it. I don’t know why we are conditioned to live our lives out of fear of being unsuccessful or unfulfilled. Some of us try SO HARD to be content and live up to some unachievable expectations that we are actually not living our lives to the fullest potential. Now, I’m not saying NOT to shoot for the stars or become something amazing. I’m not saying to quit school and become a hippie or just go through the motions of life. I’m just saying we shouldn’t let our fear of failure affect our emotional well-being. Strive to be amazing, but do it with a smile. Try to be the best you can be, but have fun while you do it. Achieve your goals with determination and resilience, not with anxiety or dread. When our physical life ends, our professions and bank accounts won’t matter. What we did with our lives will be secondary to how we lived them. Do you really want to wake up when you’re 60 and realize you spent your ENTIRE life always worrying about the tomorrows and yesterdays instead of being happy in the “now?” I know I don’t.
So, when you feel like the weight of the world is too heavy on your shoulders or you’re running on a hamster wheel and not getting anywhere, just stop right where you are and close your eyes. Your life is not a cookbook. There’s no recipe or legitimate directions to get you where you need to be. One road for some will not be the same for others, so don’t ever feel like you need to go down the route that everyone does. Love yourself. Smile. Breathe. If you let go of fear and open your heart to all of the wonderful possibilities that life has to offer, I promise you-you will NOT be disappointed.

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