1. Because you’re going to go through things. Things that are hard, gut-wrenching, and scary. Part of being an adult is acknowledging that you’re going to have a lot of ups and downs in your life. You’ll have moments where you feel like you’re on top of the world, but you’ll also have these terrifying, challenging moments where you have no idea how you’re going to get through the day. As long as you’re getting out of bed every morning, it’s okay if some of those days are going to be a lot harder than others.
2. True happiness does not mean that you have a perfect life or a flawless situation or every single thing you’ve ever wanted. It just means that you’ve learned to look at life as a whole in a certain way with gratitude and thankfulness, optimism and hope.
3. Bad things are going to happen to you that don’t make sense. They’ll be unfair, and random, and overwhelming. But it’s not about trying to remain happy through all of it or always putting on a fake smile. It’s about maintaining an attitude of I can do this or I will get through this instead of Why me?
4. Being a twentysomething means feeling unstable and out of sorts. You haven’t quite figured out your purpose yet, and you pretty much always feel like the clueless new kid. You have to ask a lot of questions and you don’t know what you’re doing. It’s hard to feel happy or content when you don’t yet have a good grip on your surroundings, but that’s okay. That’s what being a twentysomething means – it means not having a clue what you’re doing, but deciding to roll with the punches anyway.
5. Because it’s healthy to admit when you’re having a hard time. You’re not in middle school anymore, where you get sent to the guidance counselor if your teacher senses that you’re sad or something’s bothering you. This is adulthood, where we all have to fend for ourselves and learn how to ask for help. Everyone’s afraid to admit when they’re struggling, but the key thing to remember is that everyone is struggling. Figuring out how to tell people you need help is one of the most beneficial things you will ever learn in adulthood.
6. Going through hardships makes you a better and more whole person. It makes you feel things. It helps you to understand people. It helps you to understand life. If your life was easy and free from anything difficult or scary, you would be the most underdeveloped and uninteresting person in this world. You would remain static, never learning anything and never growing as a person. The fact that you’re not happy all the time is the very thing that’s molding you into a smarter, wiser, more dynamic person.
7. A lot of the things you are going through and will go through in the future are soul-crushing and painful. You’ll experience death and job losses and friendships drifting apart. You might go through physical illnesses or mental illnesses, breakups or divorces. Bad things are unavoidable, and they will happen no matter how much you try to plan around them. You’re not going to feel optimistic and happy during these experiences. You’re going to feel distraught and depressed and like you’re hanging on by a thread. That’s normal, and that’s okay. That’s what it means to grow up. And even if you don’t realize it in the moment, getting through these things is what’s going to make you that much stronger in the end.
8. Because you’re a person. You’re a human being. And humans have weaknesses. Humans have feelings. Humans struggle with things in life. You’re learning how to deal with the fact that life is not a cakewalk. Rather, for all the good parts, there are just as many scary parts. You’re learning that now. But the important thing is that you’re refusing to shield yourself and live in the dark. You’re out there living, and as long as you’re doing that, it’s okay that you’re not happy all the time.