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!)
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?
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.
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!
Header Image: Pixabay
Pop over to elephant journal to read an alternative version of this 🙂