It’s been three months since I’ve begun my first full-time job as a journalist. It’s been a hard and arduous journey to say the least. But it’s also been a time of major growth and independence.
There’s this term that floats around a lot for people once they start their careers and enter into the real world on their own: adulting. Over the past three months I’ve learned that “adulting” or becoming and adult is not an over night event. Rather, it’s a painful, sometimes soul-crushing, sometimes mega-rewarding period of time where you learn what you really want in life and whether or not you want to continue pursuing your dreams. Basically, it’s a second puberty.
Nobody really warns you about it. You’re just kind of thrown into this new awkward phase. You’re figuring things out. You wonder whether you really like the job you’ve dreamed about since High School. You realize that life isn’t just one amazing adventure. Life is hard. Work takes hard work. Your dreams change. Your friends change. In my case, you’re thrown into a different city, and it’s up to you to make that new place your new home.
Adulting is a lot of confusion. Trial and error. You try a job that on some days you hate, and some days you love. You spend a lot of time on your own. You make a greater effort to spend time with friends, who at this stage of your life are there because you want them to be. You realize the simple joys in things like cooking, reading, listening to music.
Lots of time you wonder. Do I really want this? Is this the life that I want to continue pursuing? Am I willing to put in the hours, the time, the effort. You realize that work is a lot of hustling, trying to please people, hoping that at the end of each week you yourself are satisfied enough to keep going.
But mostly, becoming an adult means learning to become independent. You realize that every decision to make is yours, and every decision you choose has an impact on your life. Whether you decide to work hard or not. Whether you decide to wade through the bad in hopes that in the future it will pay off.
It’s a time where you truly grow up. No more childish fantasies. This is the real deal. There’s no one to cheer you on 24/7. You have to work for everything. And work truly is work, not just paid party time.
I hear from people sometimes, that adulting is about finding yourself. And that’s true in a sense. You learn about your faults and work on them. But I feel like life is so much more than finding out who you are, because we all change on a daily basis. This time, this uncomfortable time of self-discovery and changing, keeping or forgoing any plans you may have, is about your response to things. What life throws at you, whether you decide to persevere or give-up. It’s a testing time.
But what I’ve learned so far is that if you choose to tough it out, you’ll only get stronger. Sure, your dreams can change. I feel like all of mine have changed tremendously. But that’s not necessarily a bad thing. Change can be a great thing as well!
As you get older you realize more of what you really want your life to be like. Do I want to live a big life? Do I want a simple life instead? Do I value finances and comfort more than passion? Am I willing to take lesser pay for something I enjoy? Do I want to change my career plans completely? Can I see myself doing this for the next 30 years? All of the wonderful things that keep lots of us young folk up at night.
Although it’s difficult, it’s also really rewarding. I feel like I’ve become a much stronger and more self-aware person because of my job and new independence. I have such a greater stamina now because my job often requires so much energy. I’m now no longer exhausted at the end of each day. I’m also realizing that journalism is not what I had always imagined. Although I’m still not sure if it’s something I’m willing to pursue to get to the point where I can report on really huge global issues, I know for sure that writing is the medium I want to stay in-whether that’s through journalism or creative writing.
This job has also made me a lot more social and confident. I know I can do this job now. But I also know that when the time comes I will have the confidence to make changes and face tough decisions.
Right, so stream of consciousness over. I just felt like sharing my thoughts on life’s second awkward stage. I feel like it’s a phase that all of us have to go through but not many people talk about. So I hope you enjoyed some of my unfiltered thoughts on the matter. Thanks for reading! Until next time!