The horrors of adulting

By Aleezeh Fatimah Hashmi
Fri, 05, 22

So, adulthood did not magically disappear my problems; instead, it made my vision clear about how life would not be a bed of roses for me or anyone else....

The horrors of adulting


Part II

If truth be told

We grow up fantasizing about growing up. As a child, I always wanted to grow up fast. I used to ask God to miraculously grow me up in a night so that I could do whatever I wanted. Our imagination grew more potent because of how adulthood was painted on the canvas of our vision by our adults. When I was a child, I dreamed about how I would taste freedom once I graduated from school. But once I graduated from school, the high school monster was set to engulf me without chewing. Then, I had university waiting to give me tests that I was destined to fail. So, adulthood did not magically disappear my problems; instead, it made my vision clear about how life would not be a bed of roses for me or anyone else.

It has been a pleasure to fantasize about growing up into an independent woman; in moments when I am about to lose it all, I think of how fantastic it would be to become a woman CEO someday, or how cool it would be to become one of the characters I have read about in Jane Austen’s books. But, at the same time, I will not be a deluded adult, ignoring the exhaustion that comes with dreaming as an adult. Each day, when I wake up, I feel like a failure, and it hurts each cell in my body because this isn’t how I imagined my twenties as a child. Every day a voice in my head screams that I should have accomplished more at this age, making me feel like I am not doing enough.

Some time back, I started paying attention to the root cause of this voice, and I concluded that this voice screams because of lies that have been fed to me since my childhood. I wake up every day, scroll through my LinkedIn, and close it, feeling like everyone is doing something in life except for me. Almost every other adult I know feels the same way, so it is a joint problem. It comes from setting unrealistic expectations for ourselves. And why shouldn’t it be? If I see a twenty-five-year- old entrepreneur giving ted talks on YouTube or every third person sorted with life, it is evident that I would feel I was way behind. In my opinion, we’ve been in a state of competition ever since we were born. Everything is competition, from good grades to good career choices to great spouses. Hence, everyone feels the need to run two steps farther than their competitors. And, if they can’t, they’ll pretend to be sorted on social media.

The competitions have fueled the fantasies people our age are used to having. In this era of globalization, digital media has also played a massive role in this unhealthy race. If truth be told, no one is as sorted as they appear on their social media profiles. They might be earning more than you; they might be at a better place than you, but they don’t have it all figured out. They have their fair shares of struggles and failures that you don’t know about because nobody posts their losses on social media. Hence, you need to slow down and listen to the voice in your head, get to the root of it and eradicate it with all the strength your fingers have, no matter how much it hurts. The only way you will grow is by accepting the truth.

And the truth is, adulting is equally challenging for everyone; people just choose to hide the hard part.