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Adulthood so far: winging it every day

As a little kid, I remember going to family parties, seeing all the nicely dressed adults laughing and joking, smiling from ear to ear, wine glasses in hand, all seeming like they have their shit together and think ‘oh wow, I can’t wait to be an adult, it looks so fun.’ Well now I am 25, I am an adult and I have no idea what I am doing.

When I turned 25 this year I thought this is it, I am halfway through my twenties, so this must be the year it will all magically come to me and I will be super organized, I’ll be in a good routine, I’ll lose about two stone, maybe learn how to bake and always fold the washing instead of leaving it in bags for life for 2-5 business days. Instead, I have found the two stone I planned on losing, I didn’t learn how to bake but that doesn’t stop me eating the baked goods and I still bag my washing up and forget it is there. This year has been so overwhelming, intense and I am glad I get a fresh start soon.

These past few months I have panicked so much about time; all around me are my friends the same age, a little bit older or younger, and they’re getting married, engaged, having kids or are so much more financially stable than me it makes me want to cry. It’s so hard not to compare yourself and your own situation and think of all the things that you are lacking.

When I first got the keys to my house, I was 21 and my head was full of all the amazing things that were about to happen; the decorating, the parties, the pets, I had a space that was all mine so I could do what I wanted. But now I am 25 and nothing has gone the way that I planned it to. You see these posts on the internet, whether it’s Instagram, Facebook or Tiktok and they’re of people a similar age, their lives look so put together, so organized, so aesthetically pleasing that it makes me wonder what the hell I am doing wrong. Again, it is stupid to compare yourself to others, but it’s so hard not to when it is so easy these days to make your life look like something it isn’t, so I want to be honest about mine because I have not felt great at all lately, I have felt like a failure and so unsure of myself.

Every room in my house is unfinished; me and my partner stripped the hallway before Covid was ever a thing and it has still not been plastered and it looks terrible to the point it makes me anxious. I very rarely exercise now, I wake up and I am either in pain straight away or realise that the minute I get out of bed I will be in pain, so what’s the point in moving? Sometimes I have literally cried at the amount of housework I have had to do and I’m sure it won’t be the last time. I bully myself constantly into being productive and usually end up putting myself in pain because I struggle to relax. I have been so anxious lately that I have hated being in the house on my own, but then have also wanted to be left alone, so I can’t win. Most days I am filled with dread wondering if I am a good friend, a good partner, or a decent person to be around. I also love my job and am so grateful for it, but am struggling to keep up with the price rises of everything (as everyone probably is) and I feel so stuck in the house because I can’t afford adult life, so when I get my wage, it goes on bills and not much else. Feeling like I am running out of time lately to sort my life out has left me so very anxious, sad and a bit confused.

The bright side to all this is that being 25 means that you only have 5 years’ experience of being an adult, so it’s all still pretty new. Even being in your thirties is still new. It’s like you’re a new-born adult, you’re finding your feet, you’re learning who you are and what kind of person you want to be, and I don’t think it is easy for anyone. Maybe the biggest thing you do today is get out of bed to move to the couch, and that’s fine. If your life looks nothing like the ones you see on the internet, that is also fine.

Even though our house is unfinished, we try our best to make it a nice space for us and everyone else, so you might not want to look at the walls, but if you ever need a place to stay, or somewhere to pop in for a cuppa and a good chat, then that’s what we’ve got. I’m definitely not on as high a wage as probably all my friends, but I do have a wonderful job, I have met some lovely people and I’m good at it, so what more can you ask for? Every time I get myself worked up about all these things I feel like I am lacking or failing, I remind myself of everything I have and am grateful for. I also remind myself that everyone takes things at their own pace and if you stop comparing, you might just realise what you already have and that little victories are also worth being proud of. I might not shake all of the negative thoughts I have been having just yet, but taking little steps each day is making a massive difference.

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