Adulting is hard- that’s every individual who are currently trudging through their after- rosy phase in life equivocally claims. In fact this harsh truth is so common an encounter that it doesn’t even take us by surprise anymore. Things were different in our times goneby- we as kids could not wait to grow fast enough into adults, strong and independent, no- nonsense individuals with minds and says of their own. There was a certain charm to being all grown up that we as kids would covet. Not anymore though, for indeed the grass remains always greener on the other side.
Out of the carefree bubble of childhood and from the romantic, dreamy airs of teenage, adulting comes like a challenge. One that we are always up for, but never quite ready for it. Indeed even this phase, like all other new beginnings starts on an interesting note. But as time flows, interest turns into disinterest and into boredom finally morphing into what we identify as hell. FMLs and Shit Happens are the order of the day and we get more anxious than relieved when a day goes by without any siyappa! But again to all our relief, we discover with some shrouded mirth that we aren’t alone in this. Because every hapless soul we encounter have their own woes to rue.
So what exactly is it about adulthood that confines it to being a breeze just in fiction? Or worse, sometimes not even in fiction? The messy spirit of folks who can call themselves adult (only) physically is perhaps what drives this empirical existence home for everyone. So if you too are one miserably adulting mess, here are some harsh truths that will make you realise how rightly you (and everyone else) are faltering at adulting!
You realise why it is called job ‘hunting’
Years of academic excellence in school and you never would have imagined in your wildest dreams that securing a job would be the nightmare it is turning out to be. Forget your dream job, even a routine, unattractive sounding 9 to 5 employment eludes you. No matter how much you flaunt those 10 percentiles or cent per cents in your resume, nothing matters.
You pine your hopes on every interview you appear for and on each exam you take, but to no avail. No one is impressed with your skills or your hardwork. And it gets worse when you constantly see social media updates of your peers of their new jobs. You wonder how others are acing it and you languish there- clearly not a winner. Everyone asks for experience, but no one is willing to lend it to you. It’s only when you are adulting do you realise why unemployment is the problem of such enormous magnitude that it professes to be.
You have to go grocery shopping, all by yourself!
Gone are the days when shopping used to be almost akin to a fun hangout. No more can you afford the luxury of whiling away all your money on that branded pair of denims because folks, you even have to survive! And survival does not give as much as a damn to style, all it cares about is necessities.
So there you are, fending for yourself, picking up not just cookies and pasta and chocolates but also dal- chawal and sabji. Scrounging for veggies as fresh as possible and the fruits of your choice is a chore so enormous that it overwhelms you. And of course, there’s those month- end pressures when all you can barely afford is bread. So even when your cravings are inclined towards some fries and burger, there’s your wallet curbing them all. It is then that you realise how much of a nuisance you might have been all life long to your parents. Demands so outrageous and concerns so wallowing, you almost chide yourself for being the spoilt brat you always have been.
You have to do all the housework
Sure you might love cooking or you might be a pro at cleaning. But no one loves being constantly responsible for everything just because. But if you are adulting, responsibility should be your second nature. Even when you are back from work after a long, tiring day, you still have to do the dishes. Even when you are famished, you still have to go through the rigours of chopping, cutting and cooking before you can have your meal. You still have to do the laundry no matter how lethargic you feel.
Worse, you can be terribly ill and still work the entire day away. And you don’t even have the energy to complain afterwards because all this is so exerting. It’s then that you miss maa ke haath ka khaana or papa ke champi or bhaiya ki treats. But you still have to do without ’em all because of course, you’ re adulting!
You go through the dread of calling random, unknown people
It sucks that adulting isn’t just about you dealing with yourself. It also means dealing with your own shit yourselves. Which translates to no more asking mom to take you to the doc or no more of going ambling along the streets with daddy dearest. You might be down with a high temperature or you might have sprained your ankle but you still need to book your own appointments. You need to go house hunting by yourself, seek out random strangers for tasks and even greet unwanted guests at your place, all by yourself. No matter how much you despise even the sight of unknown people, you have to meet and greet them cordially because man a times, even your life depends on it!
You find it difficult to deal with all the emotions
As if physical tasks weren’t enough to make adulting hard, you also need to maneuver your way through emotions. Sensitive, fragile emotions that leave you on the verge of tears all too soon. Or erratic, explosive emotions that make you the hot headed bitch. Or impulsive emotions that embarrasses you afterwards. Overwhelming emotions are never scarce when you have to deal with all shit by yourself. More so when you are in the adulting age that confuses and ridicules you now as much as it had enticed you earlier.
So there you are, languishing in a vortex of emotions so incomprehensible that almost drives you crazy. You end up crying out of nowhere, finding it difficult to stifle the tears that emerge from a recollection of the past. You hate it when boss bombards you with deadlines and you hate it more when the ‘nobody understands me’ thought takes over. And you even cannot afford to bare your soul out to anyone because that really is too much effort. And anyway isn’t adulting all about clearing up your own mess, even when it’s too much to bear?
You forego fun
Most times willingly, in some cases rather unwillingly though. But adulting has you deprived of all the times you thought you would have some fun. You give up your night out plans because you are simply not up for it now. And you are forced to compromise with your vacations because time is money and you need your time, or money. There are days when you feel like partying but your friends aren’t. And there also are days when you drag yourself around sleepily to a movie because bae wants to have a romantic date with you. But no matter what you are doing, it definitely isn’t even fun most of the time. From yielding in to commitments to sacrificing all for career, adulting hits you harder than your mom used to in those carefree days of childhood.
Your goals seem to be fading out of focus
It’s paradoxical that when adulting should have been the age you should be achieving your goals, it’s the time you are lamenting them. Adulting brings to you more responsibilities. And even without anyone to tend to, your own responsibilities overwhelm you. So much so that you hardly can care about anything other than existing.
Gone are the days when you would strive towards your goals, when your dreams meant the world to you. You still want them all right but they elude you and not just in perception. Time also is no more as much by your side. You have emerging stuff to take care of, you would want to be more responsible for your parents and family. Somewhere in the midst of all these obligations you want to adhere to, your goals slip away from focus. Even when you still yearn for a life revolving around it, somewhere deep down you might have just resigned to the fact that they never will be yours to call your own.
You learn to ‘make peace’
It kinds sounds revolting that adulting hits you with the peace vibes really hard. Like, to yield to expectations even at that stage of life when you are finally able to do whatever you like sounds flimsy. All your life you longed for this freedom of being your real self. And especially when you encountered it, in all its responsibilities and difficulties, you would at least expect it to grant you your space. But instead what it makes you do is moulding or changing yourself to such needs that defy your own. You are expected to ‘make peace’ with others and live in compromises. You have all the freedom but the moment you act on it, you lose it. It’s so confusing and bewildering a life phase that hits you hard in the guts and leaves you whining and complaining about it.