Self-ImprovementGrowing Up

Maybe There Is No Magic Age Where You Finally Get Your Shit Together

I just went over my finances for July and it was so disastrous that I felt like staring at a wall for 20 minutes was the best thing to do in order to redeem my sense of self-respect.

When I finally felt like I could shut my open jaw and get up out of my seat, I went to the fridge, poured myself a glass of chilled almond milk (because I’m a millennial, duh), and sat back down to sip my drink through a chocolate straw. Adulting. Fucking. Sucks.

Adulting is not so hard, what’s hard is doing it without any reassurance. I’m sure I’m not the only one going through this whole “I have no idea what I’m doing but I’m doing it” phase, but why is it that I am the only one I know being so vocal about it?

It reminds me of being back in school, having everyone doing their part in a group project, but I’m the only one who isn’t sure if they’re doing their part right because no one is saying anything to anyone. Everyone else seems secure about their endeavors and I’m just here sinking into my seat hoping I’ll just vanish into thin air.

I had a friend once tell me that they’re constantly jealous of me because I always seemed to be put together and I always know what to do and what to do next. I wanted to squint at my friend and whisper really slowly in a northern English accent, “You know nothing, Jon Snow…”

But I guess what that means is that I–in all my clumsiness–am like EVERYONE else. And that they are just like me!

We’re all just flailing around in our minds like headless chickens while somehow managing to keep a composed and driven stature on the outside that well-serves our pride. We’re all pretending that we’re certain of where we go next, and while some of us actually get to go there, we’re all secretly insecure about our intuition anyway.

Adults–I mean, older adults–keep saying that the process takes time, that you can’t expect to have it all figured out in your twenties. I kinda want to call bullshit on that.

I don’t think anyone ever figures it out. Not in your twenties, not in your thirties, and not even when you’re 100 and they ask you what the meaning of life is.

The process of figuring yourself and life out is not a slow one simply because life is not a process to begin with. There is no endpoint with life, except with death, but let’s not be morbid.

You don’t wake up one day and think “Yes, I know.” You surely know more but you never “know,” you know?

You never really figure it out, you just learn to do things and pursue what you desire despite your insecurities, because they never really go away.

There is no point with this thing where you get to level up and live life as an all-knowing individual. That state of absolute security does not exist–at least, not in this life. I think we’re all meant to do this thing with a certain degree of insecurity anyway, but balancing it out with a certain degree of rational faith in the uncertain variables of life because the point in life is not really to figure it out.

The point, however, is IN figuring it out.

I also don’t think there’s a timeline for figuring life out, simply because life isn’t linear. And since there is no start or endpoint, I think I’d rather describe the “voyage” as a spontaneous and endless scribble.

You were born into that scribble and you move with it till you run out of ink, never necessarily reaching an endpoint, but definitely crossing and recrossing past curves, making a mess, and ending up looking like an abstract piece of art.

You never really “know” with absolute certainty, but you know with faith. And sometimes that faith weakens–usually looking back at a slip-up or a mistake (like finances for me)–and you need validation for that faith in order for it to keep driving you forward.

Sometimes all we need is a nod, a thumbs up, a faint smile, anything really to make us feel secure in our novel choices—anything to validate the fact that whatever we come up with, albeit different, will lead somewhere fruitful. We need insurance that we’re not deluding ourselves with hopes and dreams that will take all that we’ve invested, from substance to thought and time, and walk it straight to the graveyard.

But you know what? It’s okay to feel insecure. It leaves more room for learning. And isn’t that all we’re here for anyway?

So hey, you don’t need to put any hope in one day finding certainty, but you do need to learn to take your insecurity by the hand along with uncertainty and walk them both through this life with a playful smile. Because trust me, we’re all just here to play and leave splats of color on our canvases. TC mark

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Mariam is a yogi by day and a writer by night. Follow Mariam on Instagram or read more articles from Mariam on Thought Catalog.