The horrors of adulting

By Aleezeh Fatimah Hashmi
Fri, 05, 22

I don’t know where the tears came from; they just arrived, like unannounced guests, and I had to entertain them while sitting on the toilet seat of the washroom of my office...

The horrors of adulting


Part I

Confessions of a struggling adult

I genuinely feel like I am headed nowhere in my life. Just an hour ago, I had a meltdown in the bathroom of my workplace. I was watching Gilmore Girls, and while looking at how accomplished Rory Gilmore was, I started thinking about my life: where I stood, what was happening, what was I doing to pursue my dreams, etc. While I was thinking, my eyes suddenly felt teary. I don’t know where the tears came from; they just arrived, like unannounced guests, and I had to entertain them while sitting on the toilet seat of the washroom of my office.

The horrors of adulting

I am a 22-year-old woman, struggling to find vision and focus in my life. I wake up every day and think, “Today will be different.” And by the end of the day, the only thing I can keep up with is my work deadlines. My sleep schedule is messed up, and I have dark circles under my eyes. Every morning, I think I will be able to achieve a balance between my studies and work but, somehow, I fail. This is the part of my life I used to fantasise about.

When we’re kids, we fantasise being adults. When I was a child, I read many Jane Austen books, watched almost every drama written by Haseena Moin, and always admired the strong female leads. I remember watching Dhoop Kinaare, and Marina Khan’s characters inspired me so much that I ended up choosing medicine, only to realise in my second year that I wasn’t meant for it.

The horrors of adulting

When I was a little girl, my mother told me to beware of men, as they lie. Later in life, I realised that it is not only men; it is the people we look up to as well. For instance, I was told by almost every adult in my life, “Once you get into med school, everything settles down for good.” I have reached that point in my life, and the only thing that has settled down in my glass is failure. I have encountered so many failures up till now that I don’t think I will ever be able to let the horrors of it go. The amount of “casual” sexism I encounter each day is the cherry on top of the cake because it further strengthens my belief that I am not going to make it.

The horrors of adulting

When a child looks at me now, munching on Cheetos, he probably thinks, “I want to be like her; she can buy Cheetos anytime she wants!” Who will tell him that I am stress eating, because I have lost the balance of my life? Amidst almost all of my college friends getting hitched, I feel lonely and isolated. I feel like I don’t belong anywhere; it is just one abyss I am falling into, and I can’t find my way back.

My jumbled thoughts are the voice of every individual who has just stepped into their twenties. The twenties is a scary age. When I use the word scary, I mean the scary that gives you nightmares which leave you sweating and throwing up in the middle of the night.

The horrors of adulting

It is that monster whose mouth is wide open to engulf your hopes, dreams, inspiration, ambitions and youth. It robs you of your carefree existence, risk-taking abilities, and bravery. You’ll find yourself lying in your bed, staring at your fan, and thinking of what a loser you are for not being able to “make it” yet.

Adulting is complicated. It is that one toxic friend from your childhood that you can’t let go of. Or the monthly bills you can’t avoid. You indeed have a whole world open to you, offering you millions of things to excel at, but you don’t know what road to take. You always have something to catch up on, and there is a consistent uncomfortable feeling of falling behind.

Such are the horrors of adulting, my friend.

Yet, I have no choice but to wake up every day to face it.