Dude, being an adult is freaking terrifying.
I remember the good old days when none of my decisions held much weight. Will I join the track team or do the spring play? Will I break up for real with my boyfriend I see once a week or will we hold on just a little longer? Will I dye my hair bright red?
Yes, my life was every 90’s teen movie ever.
These felt like huge, life-altering decisions. How could I possibly come back from dying my hair?! Also, don’t even get me started on college. I had daily freakouts while trying to choose a school. Even when I finally did, I cried for a week because, at the end of the summer, I would be packing my bags, loading up the car, and leaving the home I had always known…..for a school an hour away. 60 minutes.
Yes, I was as dramatic as every protagonist in every 90’s teen movie ever.
Now, at my wise age of 24, I reflect on these moments and roll my eyes so far back into my head that I can see my own brain. I want to reach a hand through time to my eighteen-year-old self and pat myself on the fire-engine red hair.
You sweet, innocent child.
Those decisions were small potatoes compared to what I’m looking at now. If I get let go from my job, how long will I be able to pay my bills? Should I buy a house? Do I want to have to live here for at least another five years? Should I go back to school? Can I afford it? Is it worth four years of part-time school while working a full-time job? How do I not die? Am I eating the right foods? Is there too much carbon monoxide in my apartment? Does my detector even work? Has anyone freaking tested it?!
Things that have a little more gravitas.
And I know what you’re thinking, Oh Kierstyn, in another ten years you’ll look back and questions like these and realize that they weren’t so bad.
And you know what, you’re right….because I’ll have a whole new set of terrifying questions at 35!
I’m not panicking. You’re panicking. EVERYONE JUST CALM DOWN.
But wait, we didn’t even get to my favorite one yet. As a twenty-something who has been married for two-and-a-half years, I often receive the wonderfully intrusive and incredibly uncomfortable question, Are you guys thinking about kids?
…..am I thinking…..about kids. Am I thinking about kids? Am I thinking about creating a human life inside my body that I’m going to shoot out and will spend the rest of its life financially and emotionally depending on me? I cried this week because I wasn’t sure that it was a good choice to get bangs. So no, I am definitely not thinking about that kind of commitment at this time. Please check back in ten years.
I want to go back to when I was sixteen and everyone was very adamant about telling me not to get pregnant or make any huge decisions, for that matter.
Yes, I do understand that as an adult the world is my oyster. I have the power to do whatever I want for the first time in my life and I should embrace that and seize the day and adventure and blah, blah, blah.
A beautiful sentiment, but every large decision that I make from this point on, I can’t go back on. I haven’t met an adult in my life that doesn’t have half-a-dozen I really should have done that stories.
Side note, my favorite is when your parents tell one of those stories about how they didn’t take that job offer in Paris or how they didn’t marry that beautiful island woman they were crazy about and then you say But if you had done that, then you wouldn’t have me! and they give you that sort of half smile like Oh….yea….sure…that’s good…I guess. It warms my heart.
Anywho, what if I pick all the wrong things and am full of regret? What if I pick all the right things but still feel like I missed out? What if I do nothing at all because being an adult is freaking expensive and I just live in a suburb of Milwaukee until I die?
I don’t have a conclusion because I’m currently still freaking out about it. So have a half-finished paragraph. What do you want from me? I’m just as clueless as you are.