The Adulting Game
After 30, conversations with your girlfriends become a little different. I am lucky enough to be surrounded by some of the brightest and most intelligent young women a girl can ask for, so often I find myself caught in celebratory exchanges regarding a multitude of accomplishments: new homes, new professorships, doctoral graduations, healthy marriages, etc. And although I revel in these “girlfriend, you DID that!” moments, I find myself only having the ability to respond with random updates about my cat, like, “Girl, you know Fatty didn’t mess on the carpet this morning! Guess those new litter pads are working rigggghhhttt!! WOOT WOOT!”
You see, I only have my bachelor’s degree. I don’t have a fancy career, and although I work in a field that I have found some success in, I cannot say what it is that I want to do when I grow up.
And for the first time in my life, I can say that I am okay with that.
By no means am I trying to promote stagnation. Actually, it’s quite the opposite. There is not a day that has gone past since I graduated from college where the thought of “What’s next?” hasn’t plagued my conscience. But at this point, I have more faith in trusting the process of “figuring it all out” than beating myself up with ideas of where I am supposed to be.
When I was in college, all of my friends had somewhat of a plan to move on to become the amazing teachers and doctors that they eventually came to be. Me? Hell, I just wanted to be a graduate, and if there was a way to declare “Graduate” as my major, I, too, would have been applying for my doctorate by now. With so many years past and so many different career paths that I’ve explored, I’ve given up on trying to compare my lack of direction to that of my very well-planned, very educated friends, and started to celebrate my own accomplishments.
The truth is that if I really wanted to be a teacher, doctor, accountant or the like, I would have been there by now. I would have found some way to make it happen and do it successfully, and my conversations with my girls would definitely not involve potty training my cat on a Friday. But, I wanted to be a singer when I grew up and while I still gig and hustle to be the next Beyonce, Uncle Sam is still going to thirst after my coins. Somebody’s got to pay the man.
They say that when you make a plan and God laughs. I realize that even at 34, if I had a conversation with Life right now, it would go a little something like this:
Me: “…Soooo, you’re saying that I still don’t know s***?”
And that’s the good stuff. Sometimes, it is okay not to know what the hell you’re doing. It’s okay to be a little quirky, a little unorganized and a little lost, because we are all struggling to figure life out. It’s in that moment of being uncomfortable, that constant, subconscious calling to do something better–to be better–that we are reminded of the fact that life is not done with us yet. Despite the fact that I don’t wake up everyday celebrating my great career, successful engagement, or home-ownership, I can say the things that I’ve managed to string together ain’t too bad either. I do have a job, I am able to live independent of anyone else, and I am not tied to a single thing that would hinder me from the adventures life allows me to partake.
I know that it’s hard not to let society dictate what you should be doing. But celebrate what you are doing, even if it’s simple stuff like potty training a cat or remembering where you parked your car on a late night bender. As long as you have a fire under your ass to work to improve your life in whatever way that means to you, then you can say with a certain amount of assurance that you are killing the Adulting game. Life has yet to hand me a disappointment that I wouldn’t have regretted in some way had it gone as planned. So live for the moment, live for the trials, live for the efforts, but most of all, live for you. No one else can do that for you and that is something worth celebrating.