As you progress from angst-fuelled teenage years to young adulthood, there are some things that you will encounter. Sure, some of these are awesome experiences, like moving out of the family home, spending an entire night partying in the city, graduating school, starting tertiary education, starting a trade, finding love, perhaps even bringing new life into the world.
But with all that happy, beautiful stuff going on, you’re going to have to trawl through some shit. Like, real shitty stuff. That’s a part of growing up. They’re sobering moments where you realise your existence and how miniscule you are in the world, but we work through them, and that’s what’s important.
You’re likely going to be heartbroken somewhere along the line. It’s inevitable. No matter if you’re the one who ends things, or if things are ended with you, it’s going to hurt. It’s one of those things that you’re more than allowed to cry about, it’s not going to hurt your pride or make you look weak. Someone you invested a lot of time and effort in has just left you. It’s okay to be upset. You must press on, though. Don’t let it consume you. You will be okay.
You’re probably also going to make some big mistakes. Huge cock-ups. Yeah, it’ll happen. You might fuck up a job opportunity, or drunkenly kiss someone you weren’t meant to, or let slip a secret that you weren’t supposed to let go of. You’ll feel horrible; someone might get his or her feelings hurt. It’s okay. You’re human. You’re allowed to angrily punch a wall or slam down some regret-shots which you’ll probably also regret later, but it’s okay.
You’re going to have to do things you don’t necessarily want to do. You’ll likely have to be the bearer of bad news, or you might have to force yourself into an uncomfortable situation for your career. As an aspiring journalist, I know I’m likely going to have to go a do a door-knock to write a story about the death of somebody. In these cases, I think the best approach is a direct approach. Taking advice from my spirit guide, Nina Proudman: ‘You just have to say the words and deal with the fallout.’
People are going to drift in and out of your life. The people you were once as thick as thieves with will soon become distant. People change and transform a lot in their twenties; we’re all still discovering who we are and what we want to do. It’s perfectly fine to lose touch with school friends. It’s okay to grow close to some people, and lose them. You will be okay.
Sometimes you might be living on next to nothing. You’ve paid the week’s rent and put aside money for adult things like bills and car rego and health insurance and suddenly you’re living off 2-minute noodles and toast. That’s okay. You might be a bit hungry, and you might regret buying that $10 bottle of wine, but it will eventually get better. You’ll stop living from pay to pay. You’ll actually have some money in your savings account and you can move up to fresh pasta. You will be okay.
People will get sick. This one’s a kicker. People like your parents and grandparents will someday have an illness. Sometimes it might even be bad. This will mature you and test your strength as a person. It’s okay to worry. It’s okay to be upset. You might be in the middle of hanging out your washing and suddenly the fragility of life will hit you like a tonne of bricks and you’ll sit on the grass crying into your wet sheets. Hey, that’s okay. You will be okay.
Furthering on from that, you’ll experience death. It’s going to happen. I’m sorry in advance because it’s going to be horrible for a while. You might lose a loved one, or a friend, or a friend’s family member, or a childhood pet. You will have to deal with death. It’s one of the most sobering experiences, and something that can put you off balance for a long time. You will be okay. It will take some time, some self-medicating with alcohol and maybe illicit drugs. Maybe ice cream and bad movies. Maybe hot tea and bed. But you will get through it. There will be times where you will be reminded of that person and, instead of breaking down in the middle of Coles to a song that played at their funeral, you’ll smile and know that they’d be so proud of everything you’ve achieved.
Growing up is a bitch, I can tell you that. I can’t tell you how you have to deal with things, but I can tell you that you don’t have to go through it alone. I’ve dealt with my fair share of shit, and I know I wouldn’t be who I am today without it. Take the good with the bad. Hold your head up and know that, at the end of everything, you will be okay.
Words by COURTNEY FRY.