*waves sadly as teenaged years vanish forever*
It has been 159 days since I last breathed a word into this forum. And yet here we are, still moving, reading, absorbing and continuing in life as we know it. Funny that, the world continues to spin while we’ve paused. A blessed relief or a panicked catch-up, it could mean either.
I hope you’ve been well, and I hope that the last five months have brought you experiences that have shaped you positively as a human being. Five months is long time in the scheme of things. Statistically, over 55 thousand humans have been birthed into this world in that time. Not to trivialise our own five month triumphs. I for one, watched the entire nine seasons of The Office (US), so there’s that.
Have you ever arrived at a location, lodged your car into ‘park’ and pulled on the handbrake before suddenly realising you have absolutely no recollection of how you arrived?
Surely not. You think back. You remember getting into the car, pushing play on a good song, finding your sunglasses and then edging out of the driveway. And then what? That’s when you saw that woman down the street hanging out bedsheets on her washing line. Oh. You remember it’s been a good three months since you washed your current sheets. How did that happen? Does everybody wash their sheets so often? You start to wonder if you need new sheets. If you need to organise your linen closet again. You panic. The linen closet isn’t exactly tidy right now. What if your boyfriend’s mum sees when she’s next over?
And then, just like that, you’ve arrived. You’ve driven thirty-four minutes away, and you cannot remember one street, one traffic light, one glimpse of the road in front.
And that’s it in a nutshell. Welcome to your twenties.
I remember for the large part of my teen years dreaming – romanticising, really – what my twenties would be. I was gleefully ecstatic at the idea of having a job – a career no less – because I knew it would fund my unreasonable adoration for clothing. Thirteen-year-old me would be incredibly proud to know my wardrobe is overflowing.
I remember also desperately dreaming of the day I would get to live with a man. What? Right? What was I thinking? Living with the man is the worst part. I should have been dreaming of having brunch with the man, getting flowers from the man, laughing uncontrollably at bad Netflix shows with the man. For the life of me, I have no idea why I thought arguing over who cooks each night would be a highlight of my life, but well I can’t alter those thoughts now.
I was also under the available impression – God knows why – that my twenties would be the time that I knew everything. Now let’s be transparent here. At fourteen, I was cocky enough to proclaim I knew everything. I’m twenty-three now and the only thing I am apt in is knowledge of true crime (thank you people who make crime podcasts, I love you).
I get it. We think our twenties are going to be the real thing. And then we get there. And instead of being this magically calm goddess-like human with smooth skin and long limbs, we’re essentially a tightly wound circus of nerves with a large to-do list and a whole lot of activewear.
It’s funny that the egotistical behaviour we revelled in as teens, vanishes overnight when we fall into our twenties. We go from being scared of what others think about us, to being fearful of career choices, relationship preferences, the navigation of adult friendships, and then there’s the discomfort of having to secure political views in a system we’re not even sure of. Suddenly we’re in the deep end, but unlike eight years ago, we’re very aware that we do not know how to swim.
I still laugh a little when I’m titled an adult. We both do. Oftentimes, people will comment on our status as home owners, and we catch each others’ eye blithely, because nobody is more aware than we are, that we are just children, and naive ones at that.
It’s a whirlwind if nothing else. The life itself is a maze of rocks and hard places, with very little moving room in between. And then the emotions. Don’t start me on the emotions. I thought I was unstable as a teenager. Now while I’m secure in the flippant things, I’m wildly unsure about the rest of it. The cocky 16-year-old who once argued that she was simply too much of a high achiever (hahahaha WHY) has vanished. Sometimes I sit down and have a cup of tea and a small voice slips into my mind and asks, “who are you, though, really.”
I can list for you, in black and white on paper who I am and what I’m doing on this earth, but you can bet, when that voice shows up, there is doubt.
There are two things I have been growing into lately. One is that you can get up, regardless. It doesn’t matter how exhausted you are, how many migraines you’ve had lately, how little you’ve been home for the last month, or how many mistakes you’ve made. You can always get back up. And if I’m honest, while we like to put our own selfish spins on it, rest assured that nobody is really bothered enough to watch you dusting off your knees and pulling yourself up by the bannister.
The second thing is that your exhaustion is incomparable to another’s. I am highly aware – highly aware – that I am a young and healthy woman with a stable and equally healthy partner, who has the responsibility of an insured property and two precious dogs. I do not have children. I do not have the weight of a disability in my care. I do not struggle in ways others may. And so it is easy for me to feel run down and think, how dare you. As if my pain cannot be felt because someone, somewhere, is experiencing worse.
I heard once that your twenties are your selfish years, and if that is true, I say just go for it. Revel in the selfishness. It’s very clear to me that the day will come where I don’t have time to.
I think it is easy to get caught up in the host of adulthood. We try so hard to perform correctly, to remember things like insurance, taxes and dentist appointments. And yet throughout it all, loud and bright in our minds, is the reminder that we have no idea what we’re doing. Perhaps the reality of adulthood is understanding that we’re all balancing in a storm of uncertainty, and growing is simply learning to stabilise within the uncontrollable.
This is what my past five months have looked like. A lot of tension, a lot of busy calendar days. A lot of times where Corey and I have fallen onto the couch late in the evening before having sandwiches for dinner, because we’re too tired.
I don’t like being tired, nor do I like being disorganised, so you can imagine how I’ve been taking the busyness emotionally.
Yet, at the end of the day, we’re back here. I love that about life. It doesn’t stop moving when you do, and it is easy enough to pop your head up at the end of the day, to get right back into the swing of things. And while I’m not exactly swinging, I’m still writing, still scrawling down blog post ideas and most of all, still progressing. So if you’ve been wondering about the start-stop silence of the past months, hi, hello that was me. Life got in the way. You’ll be pleased to know that I’m back now, watching the Bridget Jones’ Diary movies, reading novels again, and writing a whole lot. Feels good. Feels whole.
Photos shot by @courtcreativeco