Twenty-four felt like taking a pause from a life that felt like a race and I wasn’t even running, yet I am exhausted. I was always afraid of moving too fast or too slow, or any movement at all. I talk a lot about being so confused and just living in the moment rather than having a focused goal like it was cool, or romantic. It wasn’t. It isn’t.
The way towards 24, the not-so inviting intro to mid 20s, was like being sung a Happy Birthday chorus and you’re just there waiting for it to end, with a forced smile, anxiety heightening to a maximum, and you realize that Happy in Happy birthdays have lost its meaning. And now the song is over.
Everything becomes less romantic: coffee, the nth chug of beer before feeling all woozy, all-nighters, late night texts, growing up, relationships, success.
Being 24 is saying it’s fine and actually meaning it. That it’s okay to not have it figured out just yet; it’s accepting that we can’t get any younger but that doesn’t mean we have to get any older soon.
Twenty four is about coffee choices becoming simpler, friends lesser but realer, dreams scarier and scarier by the minute.
They say it gets worse before it gets better, and I think the dust is starting to settle. I know where exactly do I want to go. I am beginning to see what I want to be my self in 3–5 years from now. And this is saying a lot from being someone who has so dreaded the thought of the future. ’Cause there’s not a lot of stability in store for me in a BA degree, there is a whole different world it has not taught me.
Life’s been okay; And 24 is about being able to appreciate that okay is actually okay. It’s accepting that we are growing up, and we actually do appreciate it now.
We realize adulting is not about paying taxes, or getting married or a successful career. But we are entitled to create (and celebrate) these milestones – the irrelevant ones to the serious ones.
It’s being aware that the world does not fall into place simply because you want it to. Like how your job does not magically reciprocate to love you in return because you love it; in fact, you don’t have to love it (or anything else) everyday. But that shouldn’t stop you. There will be some of those days. And waking up, forcing yourself to still do what you can to challenge the circumstances could simply be the most adult decision there is.
As we go, life entails us to make a mess — to fix, to cry on, to move on from. Twenty four has also taught me that it’s okay to ask for help. Cause even the most successful adults do. I bet the best adults don’t give adulting a second thought (or a blogpost), they just live and do. There are no shortcuts, no automated ways to become one, no bible or formula – just circumstances and opportunities for growth.
Twenty four made me realize that there will never be a moment of having everything figured out. All we can do is live — and life demands us so.
That it’s all okay.
As for me, I rest at night knowing I have brought food into a home that had little to almost none years and years back. I pray in my disney sheets, defaultly dozing to a fetal position, dreaming dreams and chasing them; and so far, I am not worried Zayn Malik will divorce me. And perhaps I’ll sing with the chorus on my next birthday, happy birthday that is.