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Growing up.


Anecdotally, it seems to me that many of my friends and I are doing a lot of reflecting these days. I’ve been thinking a lot about my childhood, my high school days, and my time in college. The reason why is a mystery to me. Maybe, since this time of my life has been marked by my continual search for meaning and questions about my future, I’ve been looking at the past for guidance. The past certainly informs my present and I’ve been trying to understand myself better and why I have the gut reactions I have.

I always found it painful to grow up. My childhood, luckily for me, was very fortunate and privileged. I had and continue to have a close relationship with my mom, and the only drawback of that was that I found it particularly hard to live without her. Adulthood has felt, to me, crushingly lonely at times, even despite the many supportive people in my corner. I’ve never had to figure life out all on my own, but it was still difficult.

I no longer feel like a teenager, but I don’t feel like a “real” adult yet. I’m not certain that feeling will ever gather in me. My therapist once said this is a time of transition for me, but that memory is from a while ago, blurry from lack of access I feel as though I’ve been in transition for years and years and years.

I’ve been at the edge of adulthood for a while now, but is there even a way to get myself to dive in? Is it something that just happens to you—one day you wake up and you’ve been pushed over the precipice? Is there a way for that not to hurt?

My breakup last year jolted me awake from my stupor and catapulted me into trying, clawing at understanding myself as a whole person. I’m thankful for that. I’m also thankful for the event’s continual ability to bring me closer t my friends by letting them empathize with me and allowing me to understand their feelings when going through similar issues. Still, it was an experience that was more than painful and undeniably affects me to this day. Your first love ending is part of adulthood, but it is excruciating. Truly.

I’m an anxious person, so I fear the only thing that will launch me into full adulthood will be more tragedy. That may well be true. No one can predict the future, after all. If it does or doesn’t happen, worrying about it won’t affect any outcomes. I suppose I write all this to commiserate with others. My feelings and experiences aren’t unique, and I want to be grateful for the things and relationships I have now. I don’t want to lose sight of that, because who knows what could happen in an instant?

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