There are a lot of people who think I have my life together. And on a lot of things, I totally do! I am not going to make the mistakes that I’m not a fairly well functioning member of the world society, and I’m doing a decent job at the whole “grown-up” thing: I’m married (okay, recent, but still a thing!), I live by myself for the moment and only freak out about being alone in a strange house sometimes, I can cook and bake like a boss, I have an awesome internship where I get to help lots and lots of people, I’m only a few inches from a Master’s degree, I have a five-year-plan and a budget system and all that good adult-y stuff.
But on a lot of levels, I tend to freak out about the adult-y things I’m not doing. My current internship–which is amazing–is unpaid, and I’m currently living in my parents’ guest cottage (yes, my parents have a guest cottage, privilege is amazing, etc etc; that’s a post for another day). So while I’m not currently worried about paying rent or utilities, I don’t have an income, and at the end of the summer when Husband and I go back to Maine (as is the current plan), we are effectively homeless. I don’t have a job lined up for September and my current applications haven’t gotten much of a response yet. This is partially, I suspect, because I won’t be licensed as an LMSW-CC until mid-September, which is putting a big-time damper on my application strength. Which is…stressful.
In a lot of ways, I’m in adulthood limbo. I want to feel like I’m totally on top of things and doing an A+ job navigating through life, but I feel really unprepared for a lot of things. How can I find an apartment when I don’t know what my income will be? How can I budget for loan repayment when I don’t know what my other costs will be? How do I work on making these decisions–really big decisions!–with a husband I only see once or twice a week and isn’t able to call as often as either of us would like? It’s a frustrating place to be, and more frustrating when I know that a lot of people do think of me as one of the more “together” people they know. Which is obviously a perception I’d like to hold onto.
On the other hand, it can be really cathartic to just be open about how ridiculous the transition into adulthood is. I know for a fact that I’m not the only person in my position–successfully “adulting” in some ways, tooooootally overwhelmed by the transition in others. How much easier would it be if people were willing to just be honest about how slow and awkward and scary becoming a grown-up can be? Or how nerve-wracking the job search is? Or how complicated it is to figure out things like loan payment plans and budgeting and licensure and figuring out how to not be a student can be?
It’s cathartic, I think, to be open about the fact that we don’t know what the hell we’re doing in our lives. I mean, general direction yes: I know what I want to do, where I want to do it, who I want to do it with. I’ve got a five year plan. Hell, I’ve got a 10 year plan! But what I don’t have, practically speaking, is a six-month plan.
And I will own that.
Because, on the adulthood struggle-bus or not, I am awesome.