Have you ever experienced a day when you just blurt out statements like ‘Shocks, I’m getting old!’ or ‘Seriously? How old are you?’? I have those moments now, but I’m not even close to turning 30. I just hit the sweet quarter of a hundred mark and yet I feel somehow overwhelmed on how ‘adult’ I should be after that particular age. I think of how “Oh dear, my officemate doesn’t know this or that anymore’; ‘The bills are here already!’; ‘I want to do that but I’m tired.’ Don’t those statements just sound sad?
In modern references, it is just a part of ‘adulting’ which everyone in their working years must face. However, as it seems to be a natural thing to happen, why are there a number of us who struggle with it?
Keeping Up with the Young Ones
I think that there are times when the younger generation is catching up so fast in terms of age, but our sentiments are leagues away. This is one factor in how our ‘adulting’ becomes evident, and how this phenomenon seems like a burden. We start comparing our own memories to the ones who we somehow feel like us during those years.
Experiences, references, places, and people we’ve known are different even with, let’s say, just two- or three-year age gap. The way the people around me see things and events are different when I am with the people from my college days. Similar kinds of humor, similar references to experiences, and almost the same amount of nostalgia in every story shared can be found with the people from our age group.
I understand that maturity or the development of one’s personality don’t come with age but through encountering different learning experiences in life. But, there is that idea at the back of my mind where I would like to say, ‘Hey, I wasn’t like that when I was your age.’ Even at work, the new graduates sure have a lot of learning to do, yet I couldn’t say that I experienced what they are experiencing now. Somehow there are moments when I unconsciously think how immature some people are at, let’s say, 22 because I think I was more mature during that particular year in my life. The way we handle stress, the strength I had to take in facing failures or mistakes, and the way I interact with the people around me, they are all different.
In that kind of situation, I realize that it’s not the younger ones who should always catch up with us who have been in their places already. Maybe it is time to see our ‘adulting’ as a way to reach out to them as well. Perhaps through that action, we can learn more about ourselves and become more understanding or even more helpful to people who may come into our lives. Let us be the one to share what we have experienced at that particular phase and how we overcome struggles along the way. This can even lead to us becoming more comfortable in our own failures from the past and mature together with the younger people in our social circles.
Struggling to Let Go
Aside from the effect other people around me has on the way I face being an adult, I also somehow wanted time to relax and move a bit slower. Right now, it seems like 2018 has just started, but it is really almost the end of the sixth month. We are already going to the second half of the year. I am closer to getting older again. Don’t you just ever wanted to stay in this moment and soak in the wonders it has? Well, I think it’s time to let go or loosen up the grip to the moment.
The major difficulty I find in getting older is letting go of the past. There are such sweet moments from the years that we were just growing up or when we attended high school and college. Many of my friends and I seem to enjoy relieving memories which made us feel happy, strong, brave, or even loved. It is refreshing to share those funny gestures we had, the games we played, the shows we watched, and even the heartbreaks we encountered. This is good as long as we don’t let the memories dictate how we see our today.
But to be honest, I had troubles somehow when I wished to just go back to the past because I thought that I was better off during those years. I saw my present as something that needs to take up a lot of time, hardwork, and even changes. I was scared to do all those as I thought I was not good enough yet. Then I realized that if I won’t try how could I truly be good enough. If I don’t take any step towards reaching a new goal in my life, how could I see myself achieving that particular dream. I have to live now and not only in my memories.
Accepting and Moving Forward
Getting old is going to happen whether we like it or not. Letting the days pass with worries or even loads of rants won’t make up for an interesting bedtime story for our children in the future (more so with stories for a family gathering). There is that part in us which has to accept whatever is going to happen.
Being an adult can seem like a tedious work, well, yes it is. We learn from every experience we encounter. More difficult ones can bring out a more mature us in the end. What I learned so far is that I have to let go of the fear and worries I have and have more confidence in my abilities. I may not be as good as others, but I am becoming a better version of myself and I really like how it is. I even get surprised sometimes that I can do a task well because I used to think that I am not good enough. This is one aspect of being an adult. It is not just being able to pay bills, but learning and loving yourself as who you are no matter what.