“AT TIMES YOU ALMOST ADMIT DEFEAT AND START PLANNING YOUR NEW FUTURE OF DEEP, DUVET, HIBERNATION AND LOTS OF BRIDGET JONES.”
Ahh Adulthood; something I’m still sceptical to believe I’m allowed to class myself as. The last year has had me both cheering at my adulting triumphs and wallowing in some of the stress it brings. It’s probably fair to say that last year has been one of the best so far in some respects, but also not without it’s dark patches. It’s the year I really felt the pressures that being an adult brings. Pressure from society, family, friends, my career and primarily, a lot of pressure piled on by myself. I’m sure most of the pressures inflicted upon us are unintentional, but they remain all the same, nagging and chipping away in a corner in our minds. At times, I almost admit defeat amongst it all and plan a future that involves a deep, hibernation in your duvet, lots of Bridget Jones and very rare plans to move. (Doesn’t sound too bad if I’m being honest though )
These manifesting pressures can be difficult to shake, affecting our day-to-day lives, the outlook of our futures and mental wellbeing. This said, there is also nothing more satisfying, liberating and exciting than being an adult. Discovering, growing, building and becoming the person you’ve always wanted to be. Family gatherings leave you wincing from the strain and pressure of people expecting you to have your life sussed and seeing others excel can prompt a pity party. Left with a niggling desire to metamorphose into my 6 year old self, I’ve decided to compile a list of the both serious but also sometimes hilarious pressures of being a young adult and how best to conquer them (from someone who’s awkwardly trying to navigate life!)
THE BURDEN OF KNOWING THAT PEOPLE EXPECT YOU TO DO THINGS BY A CERTAIN AGE AND BOMBARD YOU WITH QUESTIONS IF YOU DISAGREE
This blog post has actually been bubbling and stewing away for quite some time, maturing until I felt like I really wanted to share my current thoughts. It’s now somehow managed to find itself onto my Macbook’s Pages and I’m now one chapter deep into a book. It may stay a draft until I die, it may get published or it might be utterly crap, but I can’t think of anything more therapeutic to myself right now than compiling all of my young self’s thoughts.
I feel that I disappointed my Tutor at college and turned down my place at Drama School, which ironically, I’m re-applying for. Never think a boat has sailed just because people expect you to do things by a certain age. Get married, don’t get married, get married 5 times. Go to uni, do an apprenticeship, start up your own business, leave your full time job. Have children, have 7, have none. It’s YOUR LIFE, I can’t imagine anything worse than sitting at home when I’m older and wishing I had done so many things; this is what keeps me going and pushing me through! Do things that make you happy, when you want to do them – not when you’re expected to. Your happiness is paramount and you’ll know when a decision is right for you. Don’t force or rush things, make decisions for you and what’s true to yourself and right in your heart.
“Get married, don’t get married, get married 5 times. Go to uni, do an apprenticeship, start up your own business, leave your full time job. Have children, have 7, have none. It’s YOUR LIFE.”
FINANCIAL PRESSURES AND FEELING LIKE YOU HAVE TO LIVE UP TO PREVIOUS GENERATIONS EXPECTATION
Realising that by my age, my mum was already married with a child terrifies me. But lifestyles and habits change with generations and we now have slightly more freedom to live to our own rules, as and when we choose to without such harsh social pressures. Part of me has always hugely been broody, but the other half, ever aware that I’m not ready and probably won’t be for a while. People choose to start a family in their teenage years and others in their 40s. I’m becoming increasingly aware as I grow, that we must do things when we want and when we personally, feel ready. One thing that I’ll never understand is why some people feel the need to be so vocal when it comes to family life, marriage and values. Every person and every life is a whole different story; one rule doesn’t apply to all. Live and let live and don’t compare your life to others, we’re all on different chapters and moving at our own paces.
When it comes to finances; half of me feels like a boss when I have them in order and the other half crying into my Panini, wondering how people afford houses, cars and children when I can barely remember to buy more coffee. I feel like when you become an adult, some constantly make a habit of every conversation being associated with mortgages, marriage and a multitude of other words beginning with ‘m’. The last thing (insensibly some may say) I want to do right now is think about saving for a mortgage and I most certainly don’t want to drop £££s on a wedding. But that’s me, just for now. Some don’t want to get married. Some would rather holidays and handbags than mortgages. It doesn’t make us any less of a bloody great person. Similarly, those who choose the aforementioned shouldn’t be praised any less. We are breaking the current social expectations and living life how we choose, not what Jimmy over the road say’s we should be doing, and it’s absolutely marvellous.
FEELING LIKE YOU HAVE TO EXPLAIN AND VALIDIFY EVERY DECISION YOU MAKE
“Are you sure that’s a sensible career path?” – “Isn’t that a bit expensive?” – “Shouldn’t you save for this” – Many valid points, but many I will also disregard, being the stubborn millennial I am. If I want to do something, I’ll do it and if I make a mistake through the process, then I’ll learn through it. I think kinda, this is what people a ‘grown up’ is about. I appreciate others advice, wise words and inputs on my life but at the same time – there’s nothing worse than living in regret right? The way I see it, 60 years from now, my life experiences, doing what I love and appreciating those around me is what matters. If I have a nice house and comfy sofa in the end? That’s a bonus I guess.
More recently, I feel like sometimes you can feel over scrutinised as a young adult. For having a house, for not having a house, for not paying but rent or too much, being too frivolous, not frivolous enough – is there ever a happy medium?! In simple terms; it comes down to those more experienced trying to guide us through life and offer help (even if it does seem insensitive sometimes) Whether it’s your mum telling you things she would have some differently, or that a random lady from your home town offering opinions on why they hate london (despite only being once) – they all mean well at the heart of it all (at least I like to think so!) We can smile, eye roll, take it on the chin and storm on creating the lives we’ve dreamed of. We got this guys.
SHOP THE OUTFIT
Would LOVE to hear your thoughts on this one – whether you feel like you have some advice, stories of people advising you on how to live your life or just how you’re dealing with everything – I’d love to hear as always! Pop a comment below or my Insta DM’s are always open for a chat!
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Photography by Ben Kapur