I Can’t Adult, But I’m Not Failing At Life

By Kate

Every twenty-something is winging it. Whilst some may be more graceful than others, don’t let that fool you no one actually knows what they’re doing. (YAY, we’re not actually completely failing at life!)

Source: Pinterest
Source: Pinterest

I remember sitting on my apartment floor in Korea hyperventilating. I had killed my third mint plant. I had done everything right, I gave it plenty of water, love and sunshine.So how the Efffffffff had I managed to kill it? Seriously.

Of course I wasn’t only upset over a plant. I was freaking out because if I couldn’t even keep a plant alive, how the hell was I supposed to be an adult and make adult decisions? My contract was coming to an end and I had no clue what I was going to do next; let alone with the rest of my life. Everyone kept asking me what I was going to do “after my travels, and what will I do for a real job.” And I kept thinking, Wait, so teaching and traveling indefinitely isn’t an acceptable answer? Shit. 

I felt immense pressure to have my shit figured out, and look like everyone else’s neatly gift-wrapped lives (thanks social media). They were all landing these incredible jobs, putting down-payments on homes, getting engaged and traveling with an end in sight. They were laying the foundation for their lives, and here I was, killing one plant at a time.

I called my dad in a panic and he laughed at my quarter-life-crisis meltdown.

“I’m going to let you in on a little secret I wish someone had told me when I was your age. No one knows what they’re doing. (Aside from about 4 % of the population-and they knew what they wanted to be since diapers anyway-). There isn’t a handbook that comes with your 20’s, you figure it out by trying and making mistakes. Don’t worry about what you can’t control, just enjoy it.” 

(Little did I know said gift-wrapped friends were also calling their parents in a blind panic asking for similar advice).

I felt a huge sense of relief. Despite what I was lead to believe by social media, no one had a clue. I wasn’t alone, thank God!


And of course we didn’t know what we were doing! For the first time in our lives we didn’t have someone guiding our next decision. And yet none of us wanted to admit it for fear of looking like a fool. So we all pretended we had our shit together; while secretly we frantically tried to figure out the next step, and hoped it looked right in our Mayfair-tinted Instagram pictures.

Looks can be deceiving. Sausages or legs?

hotdog legs
hot-dog-legs.tumblr.com

But you know what? It’s okay. It’s okay not to know what the next step is; it’s okay that you don’t have a 5 year/3 year/ 1 year plan. It’s okay that things change, and plans get messed up. It’s okay to be wrong. It’s okay to change your mind and want to do something else; it’s okay to freak out.

I am no closer now than I was a year and a half ago to holding the answers to my future, and I’m still trying and failing  to keep my mint plant alive. Whenever a wave of uncertainty and anxiety hits me, I remember it’s okay.  This is my journey, where I make the rules and I design the life that I want to live. I don’t have to know where I am going, all I need to know is I’m on a path that is fulfilling and makes me happy.


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I was gone for two nights… TWO.

Have you gone through a similar experience? Or are you hoping to pack up your life and move somewhere exotic like Thailand, or Malaysia? Div and I would love to hear from you, so leave a comment or drop us a line on Facebook or Twitter.

(We get suuuuper excited when we hear from you)!

Also, if you have ANY advice on how to keep a frikken plant alive, please share, it’s getting depressing throwing the corpses out!

Love xxx

Header Image: Pixabay

Pop over to elephant journal to read an alternative version of this 🙂

8 Comments

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  1. I can totally relate 🙂 It really takes the pressure off, realizing that “hey it’s okay that you don’t have life figured out yet, ’cause no one in their 20s really does” (except for a handful i suppose – the 4% your dad mentioned – that made me laugh!). Before, I used to think that by 30, I should be doing this and that, I should be high up in my career, blah blah blah, but i’m so far from achieving those things. I’m in my mid-20s, just getting by. But I realized it’s okay. Where did that whole idea of being so successful or finally settled when your 30 come from anyway? It’s such bull– (pardon the language!) 🙂 anyway, this was so fun to read 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Liz, it’s SO lovely to hear from you! Thanks for taking the time to share your thoughts 🙂

      I know! The idea of having everything figured out by 30 is ludicrous! It’s the strangest thing; it’s kinda like being in high school where something is made “cool”. And while no one really likes or even understands it, they are too afraid to speak up because they don’t want to be seen as different or inferior in anyway. Crazy stuff!

      Anyway, I’m really glad you realized that you are exactly where you need to be, and the fact that you are just getting by means you deserve a medal. Because being twenty-something is hard; it’s spectacularly amazing, but it’s definitely hard!

      Keep kicking ass!

      ~Kate

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Love this post! “For the first time in our lives we didn’t have someone guiding our next decision.” Such a perfect quote. I just gave my 2weeks notice at work and am heading to Europe to backpack for a few months. Parents are already distraught that I don’t have a job lined up for when I get back! Looking forward to taking it day by day and knowing that it’ll all work out somehow, someway. We just need to do what makes us happy and the rest will come!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Hi Kathryn, thanks so much for stopping by 😄
      Oh my gosh that is SO exciting! I have travel FOMO right now, you are going to have the best time of your life! I have so much respect for you for having the courage to leave your comfort zone, and you are absolutely right, it will work out- if it’s not a happy ending, it’s not the end ❤️
      Looking forward to reading about your adventures!

      Xox Kate

      Like

  3. I can’t claim to still be in my 20s (not missing out by much, though!) but I know exactly what you’re talking about… and, from someone who’s been there, I just want to say that it’s perfect. Reading what you’ve written it sounds like you’ve figured it out – after all, the journey’s the important part. You can figure out where you’re going once you get there. Thanks for making me smile and sigh in understanding and feel like I’d found some kindred spirits… keep enjoying the journey – you’ve got an amazing life! Oh, and the mint plant… careful you’re not overwatering it. I killed a bunch that way before I realised that indoor plants only need to be watered once a week, if that… good luck!

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    • Jessica,

      I am so sorry about the delayed response! I have been going through another whirlwind of change! Thank you for stopping by and sharing your thoughts, they really, really mean a lot. (It’s actually because of your comment that I decided to submit this piece to elephant journal- which they accepted, so thanks for that). You are absolutely right in the fact that I have an amazing life. Like I said in my article, I try my very best to enjoy the journey and to trust it, but I sometimes need to just stop and appreciate how far I have come, and how lucky I am to be here.

      Love,
      Kate

      P.S I think death by drowning may be a very plausible cause for my little leafy friend, I’ll keep your advice on mind next time!

      Like

  4. O my word loved this post so much!! I’m also a teacher in Korea and turning 25 in January and this is my life story at the mo! Keep up the awesome blog xx

    Like

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