What happened in 2015 was adulthood. Our country might define an adult as someone 21 and older (drinking-wise), 17 and older (voting-wise), or 16 and older (marriage-wise for women). But, to me, the moment when I truly felt like and accepted being an adult was two thousand fucking fifteen. (The fact that the government does not even come close in predicting when I am an adult is a problem on its own that requires a separate blog post–cue minimum-marriage-age-for-women rant)
Anyway. It’s hard being an adult.
I’ve never really grasped the reality of being an adult until recently. When I started going on 20s, I thought I was, by nature of my age, already an adult. But then I realized that being an adult was not just about the age. You can be 30 and still a child, or you can be 10 with an old soul.
Previously, I was transitioning from college to real life. I was lucky to have enough family and friend supporters to get me through this period–they definitely made it a lot easier for me. They are like training wheels for when I am learning to ride a bike. But we all know the training wheels are not going to be there forever. Eventually we’re all going to have to ride on our own.
Now is the period where I am riding a bike on my own, keeping my balance… except that the ground is on fire, every turn I make seems like a dead-end, it’s raining rocks from the sky, and I’m carrying 32785 kilos of weight on my shoulder (Okay, I am exaggerating, but it definitely feels like that).
I learned that being an adult is not only about taking up responsibilities but also owning up to them. It means accepting the fact that I am on my own, that my action determines my outcomes, and I am the only one who is responsible for whatever happens as a result of my choices. In other words, no more calling mommy or daddy unless it’s a life and death situation.
Sounds like a bad news, but it dawns on me that this happens for the better.
One of the things that I really like about being an adult is that I get to make my own choices. This is not as easy as it sounds because the implication is that I am also responsible for the impacts of those choices, on my life, on other people’s lives. It’s really a trial-and-error phase, and I am learning to enjoy it.
I am happy when my choices work out and I am learning to say “I’m sorry” and accept it when they don’t.
The other thing that I love about myself being an adult is that I am also learning to accept failures, to reflect on poor choices. This is quite a big deal, because I used to be so afraid of making mistakes.
Not a lot of people know, but I have had my shares of failures and disappointments in 2015.
Being an adult allows me to be honest with myself, and that means acknowledging my flaws and setbacks, and just learning to be a better person every day, or every year.
One more thing that I learned going into adulthood is I am starting to appreciate time more. Really knowing that every day I only have 24 hours, makes me have a growing appreciation towards every relationship or friendship that I have with people. I am trying to find a way to let them all know that. But, the time I spent with and by myself is equally, if not more, precious. That’s why, going forward, I want to focus on enriching myself, not with wealth, but with books, music, food, and travels.
As an adult, I am also learning to let go. I am never a kind of person who lets things. So, it is quite something to know that I let go at least two important and beloved things in 2015. This is because I feel that those things could grow and be better, even without me as a part of them.
I am as clueless as everyone is about the future. But I have faith. And this is me, leaping forward.