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Do you remember the days when you used to say, “I can’t wait to grow up!” because adults seemed to know what they’re doing all the time? It’s like they always look so confident and poised, knowing exactly what to do and what’s happening around them. They are like the know-it-alls. Those walking dictionaries.
That’s also because you’re a kid and you’re so small that nobody believes or wants to hear anything you say without concluding that, “You’re just a kid, you don’t know anything.”
Well, that’s funny, because now that I’m an “adult,” I yearn to be a kid again. How ironic. Oh, and the funniest bit: Us “adults” don’t really know what we’re doing either, and that’s a fact. At least for some of us.
I remember vaguely about that time that served as a wake-up call for me. My whole world came crashing down and I had no one to turn to. As far as I can recall, things were so overwhelming that I started feeding my insecurities more and more over time. I realized I keep getting sudden realizations after multiple fuck-ups, again and again, because I tend to forget what I had promised myself.
From time to time, things got better. And worse. And better. This kept going for another few more years until I got so sick of how it’s been happening to me. Maybe I’ve adulted on and off, but every time seems fresh for some weird reason. Other times it’s déjà vu. I wondered if everybody else is facing a similar situation. I didn’t want to be alone. It’s still scary now, even though I’ve gotten used to it, because I wouldn’t know how long more I’d have to deal with myself in this state.
And I still haven’t mastered it. I still couldn’t confidently head to the gym without stopping at just 20 minutes (or less). The food I try cooking is still very much not up to par (or more like I haven’t really wanted to cook, ever, shhh). My confidence is still at level one when talking to people about news and current events. And my emotions, well, are still far from being as stable as I’d want it to be. It feels like I couldn’t keep up with all the overwhelming events happening around me as well. One moment I’d be fine, and the next, I struggle to smile again because I couldn’t get past something a friend said (as minor as it gets).
I feel like sometimes I’m just headed back to square one.
That being said, I then realized that happiness is the hardest state for most of us to maintain. It’s the failure to be persistent that drives all of us back into the spiral of negativity and nothingness. It does make me wonder though, why we strive to be happy as we grow older, but we didn’t have to think twice about putting up a smile when we were young. It just seemed so effortless when we were tiny. Are we somehow growing towards adulthood or just going nowhere?
Think about the times when you’d screw things up for no reason. Most of the time, we’re not doing them on purpose, but rather, things don’t seem to just go our way. I’d send drafts over drafts of my ideas to my clients and regardless how well they seem to me, it’s plain shit for the ones hiring you. You’d end up having to suck it up and revise them, again and again, just to meet their expectations, or in other words, lowering down your standards. Perhaps, I’m just too perfectionist for my own good.
There are so many things you realize you’re doing wrong as you grow older. And then all of a sudden, being an adult seems scary. Things like dragging myself out of bed in the morning, and doing the dishes that can take forever, could really seem like a chore. But mum could do it so effortlessly, so why can’t I? Regardless, it would still be a very good achievement when I do manage to pull myself up from my heavily gravitational bed. But really, though, does that mean I’m not “adult” enough?
Then again, I’d like to emphasize that a big part of my "growth" is being nurtured and well-guided by T. As much of a pain in the ass I can be, he’s still right there after all this while. He has been there for me since day one, more than a majority of the people who are closest to me. A handful of friends and family play a really good part, too, of course. Sure, I’ve come a long way and I might just be labelled a late bloomer, but as long as I do bloom, does it really matter how long it’ll take me to, right?
Yet, there’s not to say that being an adult doesn’t come with its perks. We’re technically allowed to do whatever the hell we want, provided we have the time and money for it. We get to travel to places our parents have forbidden us to, just so we can come back and prove them wrong. We can make a difference, just as how I’m humbly trying to achieve that with each article that I write. And of course, we can be happy and functional and growing when we very much want to as well.
Just remember: One day at a time. There's still so much to learn out there, regardless of your age. Regardless if you're 25, 52, or heck, even 92.
It’s time I stop trying to make everyone else happy and make me happy instead, because that’s how I know I’ll actually grow up.