Why I’m struggling being 24

Why does growing hurt so much? I really don’t know. I wish that every time an opportunity to grow came along we got really excited. I’m sure sometimes we get excited. Like when we get a new job, or are dating a new person right? But not when we’re going through a break up, struggling with money, or dealing with family issues. We find it hard to jump up and down when we can’t see the positive, don’t we? I know I do.

When I was 20 and on my own for real, for the first time, I was so excited. I thought of endless possibilities that no curfew and rules only I made up would bring to my life. If I were to go back in time and tell 20-year-old me what I would go through, I’m sure I would poop my pants in fear and run home to mommy and daddy. But alas, being naive kept me hopeful. And to be frank some of the benefits I foresaw in living as an independent adult came to fruition. Partying all night and rolling into work on only a few hours of sleep occurred often. I loved the fact that I could go to my parents and have them do my laundry and feed me once and week, and then I could slip back into managing my time the way I pleased.

But then somewhere along the lines, I started to become who I am. I stopped looking for myself in what I do with my time, and more what I do with my heart. I took on responsibility. I grew up. Sorta. I sought truth and found most of it. I got rid of junk, like notes from guys in high school and traded them for things like glass ware. There were a lot of things that made me grow up. Sometimes I think I am more grown up than I’d like to be.

The reason why I’m struggling being 24 is that I feel like I’m kind of always stuck in between. And isn’t the in between part, the worst part? Because I haven’t quite arrived at the end of defining myself and into the realm of refining myself (If that ever really happens) and yet I long for the days of past. The days of the freedom to be really stupid. Although, I am very done being stupid.

The trouble is comparison. I often wonder if I’ve done enough, or if I’m doing too much. If I’m missing something. So I end up comparing my life to everyone around me. But I’m not living their life. I’m living mine. And what I’m living, with all the passion and love I throw into life, is really the best there is for me.

The repercussion to this is that comparison robs our joy. And ya know what? I love joy! I get excited and joyful over everything, even the little things. How dare I do that to myself! I have to almost hoard my joy in the way that I protect my heart from comparison. If I look around at my life, I see fullness. I see a life full of love. I see a life full of work that keeps me too busy to be negative. I see friends and family who fill my days with precious memories. I see purpose. I see LIFE! Life brings Joy! I truly do negate all the good, when I only dwell on what I don’t have and who I’m not.

I vow to savor, and not envy. To savor the moments I have, big or small and not wish for something more or an ideal of perfect. Life is beautiful, if we contemplate the imperfections alone, that’s what we’ll have. An imperfect life.

“It does not do to dwell on dreams and forget to live.”- J.K. Rowling

I’m not done learning to find joy and beauty in all things. And I hope that never ends.


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