Adulting is reaaaallly scary. Spoken like a true human with anxiety right? 😀 You should hear my best friend and I talk about life as we see it right now. You’d think we’re the script writers of The Exorcist or the documentarians of the Ted Bundy Tapes, no in between. I admit, I’m the bad influence here; perks of being friends with a human with anxiety for too long; you start magnifying the terror too!
Is it though? Am I the only one utterly terrified about how life has turned out to be?! Is it just the magnification of my wild, wild imagination?
Okay, maybe a liiittle bit. But from what I know, every human from my age group (at least those that I interact with) are in this phase of utter daze. WHAT ON EARTH IS GOING ON??!! (or maybe I just hang out with very weird people, that’s a possibility too 😀 )
But here’s the thing: we now see the world as is. No curtains, no secret passage ways, no short cuts, no shades to protect us from the storms. We now understand why our parents are who they are. Why they raised us the way they did. We understand why home meals are not thaaaat bad. Why they would be so pissed when we stayed out late. Why they would lecture us endlessly about the friends we have. Why sleepovers were such a big no for them. Because truly, life is not how we perceived it. AT ALL. Because even if we had some hurtful and dark experiences in our childhood, most of us didn’t expect things to escalate this way surely ?
And maybe, our elders and teachers shouldn’t just have warned us, because at that age we see warnings as threats and unfair treatment. They should have made us understand what really awaits us too. Maybe that preparation would have helped; to know that the big, wide world is not as sweet and things are not as easy peasy as we thought. I get it, I would want to protect my children too. But hallo?! Not even a disclaimer?! 😀 Strangely, despite coming from a family that armed me with enough education, I still find myself perturbed by this age ? Or maybe no amount of understanding is enough for what really awaits us until we experience it ourselves? It could be so.
So now we have stepped into adulthood and realize that paying bills is actually a huge responsibility. That awesome grades do not necessarily guarantee success in life. That acquiring a job is very, very tricky. That hard work sometimes is not enough to get you to your goals either. That love is never enough in a marriage. That incest, rape and homosexuality is very real. That human beings are very, VERY complex, and sometimes, very cruel. That war, drought and poverty is way worse than we imagined it. That wealth does not always grant you happiness and peace of mind. That the closest people to you could harm you in very unexpected ways. That our education system is like a form of slavery. That health is a huge blessing that we really take for granted. That most connections and friendships don’t last as we’d hoped. That our parents too have their own scars and wounds that most often than not, we know nothing about. That our parents had to sacrifice a lot more than we initially thought to give us the life we have. That they’re aging very fast and the reality of their looming death haunts the mind. And not just their deaths, but the departure of all our loved ones. We now understand the depths of loss and grief. That as much as our Lord is fair and just, human beings are not. That people carry so much baggage and dark, unimaginable secrets with them; you’d neveeer guess.
Sometimes I think to myself: “Wow, someday I will bring a child to this world?!” A world where he could get shot by a stray bullet any day at any age by a reckless police officer. A world where even the religious teachers can’t fully be trusted because sodomy?! I still get very amazed by the people who say they hope to live to a hundred. Hoooooowwwww?!!! Well good luck buddy. You’re my hero!
Maybe some blame for all my terrifying thoughts is my brave old habit of watching documentaries and reading books on real life events, mostly crime. Brave because who has anxiety and still watch/read this stuff?! 😀 Yet when you interact with other people, these same terrifying stories come up. It is true; this world sometimes gets really dark.
Of course all this makes me utterly terrified, but on the flip side, it has made me very, very grateful of the seemingly small blessings. Arriving home safely, having understanding parents, slow, boring days, trustworthy and supportive friends, the ability to pay bills, the small achievements, the ability to understand the world and its people, days where no body part aches, having food daily, having goals and dreams to look forward to, meeting kind, selfless people, the ability to love oneself and push for positive growth and so many other good things.
I see human beings and realize they are much much more than what they dress, or how they look or the bright smiles they flash on social media or even how famous they are. That what is external could never define them justly. I see others struggling and putting so much effort to reach their goals and it warms my heart because I know for sure, their journey might be long, but God never abandons those who truly strive. I see those who have faced major abuse in their lives and how scarred they are, and I understand why they don’t trust other people and I pray for their healing. I understand that life is not simply black and white. There are so so many colours within. There’s still so much we could never fully comprehend.
Let’s just say, I keep being amazed by the things I learn from the universe every single day. From the horrifying stuff (Allahu Must3an) to the heart-melting ones.
Truly, adulting is like attending a major reveal party only to find out it’s a monster with so many layers that is awaiting us. But beneath all the layers of frustration, hurt, angst, and terror, there lies love, compassion, empathy and most importantly, faith. If we all look within ourselves and nurture our souls then we’d definitely have better lives and better resilience. The problems will not stop existing but we’ll have the eye that still sees the good even when all seems very ugly. We will have all it takes within us to soldier on, to still dream, to choose what battles are worth our time, to create a better world, to plant trees of hope and to fully believe in a God that never sleeps and is always watching over us!
Dear teenager reading this, pardon me if I have terrified you but I hope by the time you clock into your twenties you’d have armed yourself with over-flowing faith, empathy, gratitude and bravery. Be the ambassador of hope and love. But most importantly, don’t ever think you know better than your parents or elders. Because you don’t!!! Appreciate their input in your life while you still can 🙂