Adulting?

Did I mention yet that I got laid off? No? Maybe?

Well now I have.

It’s not the first time, so I guess this isn’t a new experience for me entirely. At least I’m not as hopping mad as I was when it happened before. That was a whole other story.

I won’t really reflect too much on it here, since you’ve all probably had that happen to you.

Anyway, you know that new term going around the internet? “Adulting.” ?

At the store I worked at we actually had plaques and notebooks that said “Coffee then adulting.”

I wouldn’t have a clue what that meant (Other than the adult part) if I hadn’t seen a helpful YouTube video titled “No you are not adulting.” (Check it out, it’s on a cool channel.)

So, because I’m trying to enroll in college; waiting for my first tax return; wondering what new job I’m going to find; and hoping to get my driver’s license next week (if you pray, please throw one in for me;) I seem to be adulting.

I mean, I don’t like that term.

But I think I know why it was invented.

There’s a lot of people my age who don’t feel adequately prepared for adulthood, one minute you’re 17 and haven’t a responsibility in the world beyond school, which isn’t your choice anyway; and then boom! You turn 18 and you start wondering what the heck to do after you graduate. Or you might have just graduated, depending on when your birthday is. And suddenly careers or college is staring you right in the face.

If you don’t live in America, Canada, or some parts of Europe, and I know some of you who read this don’t, then I imagine it’s a little different. Maybe 17-18 isn’t the year everything changes for you. Which is fine and all, not every country has to have the same system. But in American especially, you can’t legally do most things till you’re 18. So it is a big deal.

 

However, just because I can do stuff now, doesn’t mean I want to.

I don’t want to pay taxes, but I won’t get much of a choice there. I don’t want to have more expenses than before.

And I think that’s where my generation is finding itself. When we were teens and kids we were told we could become anything. But we didn’t hear the people adding under their breath “but it will cost you a fortune.”

I’m speaking to someone right now.

For example, if I wanted to get certified to be a ASL interpreter, it will take me at least two years, maybe more, doing multiple classes. And classes other than Sign are required to finish.

And that’s an easy one. And cheap–er.

I think the truth is, we millennials missed the part in every story where the person has to hazard all they have, like Bassanio in Shakespeare, in order to win the prize.

The fact is, you never get time back. Money can be refunded, time never is. And older adults tend to think that millennials don’t take that into consideration.

Well, my theory is, they do and they’re scared to death.

Personally, for all of my eighteenth year, I was feeling almost paralyzed from wondering what to do with my time. Looking back, I hope I didn’t waste it.

Well, I know I didn’t, because if I had had the chance to do more, I would have. When opportunity isn’t there, I don’t think it’s a waste to occupy yourself at home while you wait.

But now, it’s crunch time. I have to make some major changes in a couple months of time.

And I am not qualified to give all people, millennials or otherwise, my five tips for dealing with this period.

But I do have a little piece of advice.

One thing I do think I did right in the last year was choosing not to obsess over my lack of direction. I thought about it a lot. But in between times, I chose to keep reading, writing, and studying language. And pursuing activities outside myself. And learning to drive.

I believe that was a smart choice.

Another thing I believe I did right was committing my time into God’s hands. I may not see why I was in limbo for so long, but there was a reason, and there were moments of understanding. Like getting to go on another mission trip. I might not be able to do that again this year. (Here’s hoping.)

And don’t discount the little things. Getting to spend more time with my cousins, we have a bond now because of that, that I might have missed otherwise, and that’s a precious thing that time can’t wear away. Though it may take a back seat during some seasons.

And being there for my family. I hated being stuck at home so much, but the fact is, my family did need me. I may not feel like I do a lot, but even what I did was more than if I hadn’t been here. And I bring things to the family circle that nobody else does.

I don’t just say that to be cliche, it is true. I’ve observed it over time.

So it was a tough year, but I don’t believe any year spent seeking God is a bad one. No matter what bad things happened during it.

Heck, the Friday before my birthday I spent going to the second funeral of the year. IF that’s not symbolic of what I’ve been saying, I don’t know what is.

And all you 50+ folks have my sympathy for how much more frequent funerals must get as you and the people you know age.

But I don’t mean to be depressing.

Anyway, making the most of your time will make you feel better when you don’t have a clue where you are going next. I’ve still spent too many days sitting around doing nothing, even though I despise that attitude.

Adulting is not something you start to do when you’re 18, it’s something you learn to do over life. In fact, adulting is the wrong word for it.

It’s called growth.

That’s all for now, until next time–Natasha.

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