I don’t have enough fingers and toes combined to count the number of nights I’ve lied awake thinking of how stupid I had to have been as a kid. For a lot of reasons of course, but mainly for wanting to grow up so bad. Then again, the only understanding I had of what “being an adult” meant was being able to eat junk for dinner, making my own bedtime and finally being able to watch MTV without having to sneak it (sorry Dad).
Picture this: it’s 2007.
You’re on Club Penguin. Your igloo is decked out, you have your favorite puffle by your side; you’re pretty much the coolest penguin there is and life is good. Maybe you were more of a Webkinz kid, or Pixie Hollow, or even MoviestarPlanet. Either way, my point is, it was a way simpler time, right? Right.
We grew up with technology in the palms of our hands. As wonderful as that’s been, it’s arguably been kind of terrible too. As soon as we were out of our online game phases, we catapulted straight into our social media phases. We traded Disney channel for Snapchat and Papa’s Pizzeria for Instagram. With the birth of social media influencers, came the unavoidable (and unrealistic) expectations for what young girls and boys should look like, act like and so forth. All of the sudden, our Silly Bandz collections were lame and follower counts started to matter. Simplicity started to fade, but in retrospect, even some of my biggest worries then seem trivial now.
Fast forward, some of us are working full time, some of us are full time students, maybe working part time. Some of us are parents now, or have started our own companies. Yet, I’d be willing to bet that none of us truly know what we’re doing.
How could we?
We’ve just entered a chapter of our lives where the pressure is on and hot. We’re desperately trying to find a fulfilling career path. There’s a bill due every time we turn around. The odds of our days off lining up with our friends’ days off are slim to none, so we’re lucky if we see them twice a month. Studying is never done, looking for an affordable apartment seems next to impossible; and don’t even get me started on keeping up with chores. That’s right, the chair of clothes that never seems to make it to the closet- I’m looking at you.
The transition is a tough one. It’s all about trial and error. For some, that’s frightening, but that’s the only way we’ll get to the lives we dreamed of when we were kids. Our embellished igloos will one day be well decorated homes, our puffle sidekicks will one day be our dogs, cats or maybe even our own children. No one was ever given a handbook and taught how to do this adulting thing the right way. Maybe there’s no such thing as the ‘right way’. It’s subjective, and everyone in their 20s is just trying their best.
And to think, we thought we were past the awkward phases and growing pains from when we were kids.