The Awful and Authentic Reality of Adulting

The Awful and Authentic Reality of Adulting

Writer and law student Eldawn Catalan reflects on perspectives and realizations that change with getting older.

I swore when I was 16 that I would do everything it takes to be a well-known writer or probably an actress portraying unconventional stories.

Fast forward and… I’m neither of the two.

Instead, I find myself sitting in a virtual class and thinking to myself how I got into my post-graduate batch with the little motivation I have.

But I don’t hate it because sometimes life offers a better idea for you.

Looking back I realized I needed to be humbled down. As a storyteller, I liked to talk… a lot. This allowed me to see things from my narrow, sheltered, and privileged point of view.

What they don’t tell you is that you needed to be taught how to listen and if happy thoughts don’t do the trick, failures, and disappointments will. So even if I cried grieving on the person I never became, I don’t regret it.

My failed expectations allowed me to listen without prejudice, to understand without taking sides, and to acknowledge that parallel and multiple truths can exist simultaneously. Multiple truths like, “I can ignite my passion for stories and still actively choose not to make it my bread and butter.”

And like a lot of things and still, understand that it’s not good for you. Smart does not always equate to being happy but you can always find yourself in contentment.

Perhaps growing into a young adult means gaining access to know better and choosing which ones you would like to parent yourself with. For me, that’s understanding that things are going to get difficult but also knowing that I am confident enough to deal with it when it happens.

I still get upset about some things but the main difference is that 16-year-old me would simply whine and complain about the world’s uncertainty while my present self would simply ponder and know exactly how to handle it with poise and grace.

That, to me, is powerful.

The change that has transpired within me has been the greatest story I keep in the pockets of my dress, ready to hand it to anyone who might need it as a guide on their journey into adulthood. I am incredibly proud of how I became the figure I needed when I was younger.  Now I can provide a better point of view without antagonizing anyone and without putting blame or shame because I now understand that after all, people are just mosaics of their experiences and sometimes fall victims to their circumstances. Who are we to judge?

Don’t get me wrong. This doesn’t mean I’ll never make mistakes or act inappropriately. This just means that when I fall short, I will allow the world to correct me the way it seems to fit.

And why wouldn’t I? I’m just a young adult.