truth about adulthood

Adulting unravelled: 6 truths that no one tells you about

All our life, we want to grow up. But when adulthood begins, the hard truths just keep coming. Here is a way to look at them differently.

The wheels of time keep turning and before we humans notice, a child becomes a man. From watching them learn things for the first time, to finding them teaching their children new things, it’s a beautiful world that constantly grows. But there is a yearning within the child, to grow up fast. To become an adult like the father. It is one of those childish fallacies surely, because adulthood is truly hard. Who would want to want to wake up, go to work, earn money, take care of others, every day of their lives? Why would anyone want to be so responsible or so accountable that the fun and humour of being young completely goes missing?

Well, as all wisdom comes in hindsight, adulthood too, comes as a shock and surprise to people as they leave the threshold of young times. We all want to be there so badly that when we are there and discover how complex coming of age truly is, we are either flummoxed or trying to get on top of things. Either way, adulting is something we all must undergo. It’s better to find the blessings in every age we reach instead of lamenting of how we imagined it’d be. Soulveda takes a walk along the path of adulting and shares the good along with the bad for you to be able to acknowledge a life fully lived.

Patience is a virtue

For years and years, our parents ran after our little selves, asking us to sit in one place and finish our meal. Or to finish our homework before we leapt into doing something else. Today, we spend our entire days tapping on the keys of a laptop at work. While irony comes in many forms, it is very powerful when it teases us in our adulthood. All the things that we ran away from as children tend to become a way of life as we start adulting. Patience to do things well, patience to bear things not under our control is one of the hard truths about adulthood that we need to make peace with right at the onset.

Most of the tasks demanded of us will require our time, energy and focus and the wavering attention spans of teenage will hold no good. Finishing a project, making your child finish his homework, waiting patiently as you get the home loan approved for that dream house – will all require your patience.

Most of all, when your child runs laps in the dining room and refuses to finish his dinner, you’ll need to exercise the same patience you didn’t have as a child yourself!

Monotony is here to stay

As a child, we constantly wanted to escape childhood to become adults who could do anything. I’d constantly complain that I’d go to faraway places and never to the same boring school if only I was older. Well, well. Now that I and many of us are older, we don’t go anywhere, but try and follow the same routine as much as we can. Wake up at the same time, exercise or else run some errands, head to work where we spend most of our day. We return home, tired from the hustle and travel. Finally, we rest amidst a lot of mindless scrolling on our mobile phones. The faraway places of our childhood are vacations that as an adult have to be earned – from the workplace and by keeping in mind the money we have saved for such things.

A hard truth of adulting indeed is the monotony. But it is a gift as well. To be able to do the same things routinely, running one’s life like a well-oiled machine, is no mean feat. Just one look around is telling of how chaotic people’s lives are; some are battling illnesses while others are hustling to make ends meet. To have a healthy, happy adult life that one can expect to go similarly every day is a blessing. And to be able to take holidays or travel with the family (like ours used to when we were kids) to different places in the world is simply the cherry on top of what we call monotony.

Health is wealth

By now, it may seem as our moms wrote this one, but there is no limit to how right and relevant she always had been. As a young child, we would fall ten times in a day and cry only once. As a teenager, we would say yes to mindless challenges from friends to jump a wall or go without water for hours or party till 4 am. And we would still be fine. Cut to today, a weekend party that goes on till midnight will make us want to rest the entire next day. Absolutely nothing will seem more appealing than a good few hours of sleep. This is no magic, its simply how adulthood works – our body’s metabolism becomes slower and we don’t spring back from extreme activity as easily.

Adulthood is the perfect time to be mindful with oneself though. Practicing healthy eating habits, meditating for some time daily, indulging in self-care, especially when the mind and body isn’t ready to participate in an event or discussion, are all things we learn as we grow up. It doesn’t come all at once, so it may seem like an erratic chart of growth and learning tough lessons of what our bodies can or cannot do anymore. But in the long run, respecting one’s health, both mental and physical, go a long way in making one a successful human being.

You’ll regret a lot

Now, hear me out. This is not a sad observation, just a very important one. Many times in life, we may have been too afraid to do things; afraid to get up on stage and perform for the school’s annual day, afraid to give our names for class monitor, afraid to ask for someone’s friendship in college. As an adult, we may still be doing it a lot. Not asking for a raise we think we deserve, not changing a city or job because we are afraid we may choose wrongly. This is a vicious circle of being afraid and later regretting. But as time and experience teach us to have more courage, we realise we already spent a great many years not living the big life we deserved.

Good news is that adulthood is also the time when we can change this narrative. No matter what held us back as younger humans, we can always choose to do things differently as a grown up. We can take calculated risks at work, choose a loving partner for ourselves, move to a different country for a few years and see the world. We can also be brave enough to say no to things, trusting that better things will come our way. We knew little as kids, so we were quickly desperate and instantly gratified. As adults, we now know that with patience and work, everything can be steadily achieved.

Time will fly

The glorious days of being a kid had a lot to do with the free time we had. The leisure of just soaking in the sunshine, of reading a book, of singing a song with no pressure to stay in tune, time was all we had. The truth about adulthood is that it puts time in perspective. As we start working in offices and taking care of things and people, our time gets divided into all things important. The good old passing of time leaves our lives for good.

But it doesn’t have to be so. Once we figure the value of time as an adult, we learn to use it in a manner that gives us enough to enjoy our lives. so remember that while it’s important to earn a living and be responsible for people, it is equally important to take time out for travelling, pursuing a hobby, writing a journal, cooking, gardening or doing whatever makes our heart sing.

Failures and heartbreaks

Were we supposed to come second so often? Were we supposed to get hurt this much? While life plays out differently for each of us, one hard truth about adulthood we all have to deal with is that failing will be fairly regular. Challenges will knock us down often, and most of the time, factors that aren’t under our control will be at play. Similarly in relationships, we may find people who aren’t right for us. And then there’s social media and the internet, creating a havoc on our self-esteem every time we see someone put up a happy post. Our childhood in comparison was a fairy tale, one where we weren’t burdened with the results of our actions much. We were loved by everyone around us and no matter how well or poorly we did a task, we got full marks for effort. This is one lesson from our younger selves we can imbibe; the act of patting ourselves on our backs for trying, for putting in effort.

As time passes, life throws us one curveball too many. We dodge them, fight them and are stronger and wiser by the end of it. However, if we can show some self-love and compassion every time we are beat, then the sting of adulthood will wear off. And we’ll be able to enjoy our lives for the grand drama it was always meant to be!




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