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Help! I Don’t Think I’m an Adult

What's expected of me now?

Photo by Smart

Are you required to have a job to be a grown up? When you think of an adult, what do you see? I see someone with a briefcase. I don't know why that's the first image that pops into my head, but society has conditioned us to connect things together, and that's what I connect. It's no secret that society has expectations for what people need to be. A briefcase is linked to a career, which you need to have if you're an adult. I guess I expect someone that is an adult to have a house, a job, a family, and have it all figured out. What if your life isn't stereotypical?

I have a feeling that my life is going to be a little less stereotypical. I'm Bipolar II and I have anxiety, so sometimes I have a hard time keeping jobs. I can get a job and work really hard for a few weeks, but then I burn out and work myself too hard. My jobs usually last between a month to three months. I've always been like this, and it's been hard finding jobs with such a bad track record. Lately, I've had to leave jobs because of problems with my mental health. I've been working on myself since the last one, so I hope I can end that trend.

That is, if I decide to get a job. Right now, I'm in a position where I can afford to not have a job. I start school in January and I won't be working while I go to school. I'm young, so I should be able to feel free during this time in my life. But I've learned that your early twenties are very confusing (maybe it extends to the whole period of your twenties, but I still have hope for the future). I'm probably not expected to have everything all together right now. But I have to admit, I still kind of feel like a failure. I can't seem to find a job right now, but maybe it's for a reason. Why should I work and overwhelm myself for no reason? It's beneficial to my mental health if I don't get a "regular" job. Doing something like writing is good for me, it lets me have my own flexible schedule and when I get overwhelmed I can step away.

But there's expectations for what I should be. I'm an adult, I should be working (that's what some people think). But if I'm happy and can afford it, shouldn't I be focusing on myself and living my life? That's what life's all about! Looking back at the list of requirements for adulthood, you need a house. My roommate doesn't have a house, she rents an apartment. But she's still an adult. And then there's the family thing. There are so many people that choose to live their lives without having the typical nuclear family. They're still adults.

Do I have it all figured out? Probably not. But I don't think anybody has it all figured out, and I know you've heard that before (it's because it's true). Maybe being an adult is about guessing your way through these experiences and seeing what happens. Maybe that's what life is like in general. I'll take the relaxed approach to it - why can't we all just life our lives and have a good time?

I'm gonna stop worrying about being an adult and focus on being a person instead. It shouldn't matter what anyone thinks about the way you're living your life. Be free, do whatever you need to do to make yourself happy. The only person you have to please is yourself. 

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