Today is Christmas and I’m not back with my family. This is only the second Christmas that I have spent away from home, away from my family and it always results in some reflecting. I feel like this is part of growing up because it’s becoming a point where Boise is no longer home but rather a place that my family lives. I don’t have many friends who live there and I don’t have many friends who actually go back anymore. Their families have left, or they have to go spend the holidays with their significant others. That being said, whenever the holidays come around I start to reflect on what it means to officially be an adult.
No one tells you that growing up is hard. They warn you, but no one really tells you just how much being an adult can be one of the most difficult things you’ll go through. It’s one of those phases of your life that there is a high chance you will never actually grow out of…
I remember as a kid, the hardest decisions I had to make were based around what I wanted to eat or whether I wanted to go on a play date. Even then, my mom helped with all my decisions. Now as an adult, decisions are based around finances and what makes me happy. It’s hard to be an adult because I am the only one in control of what decisions I make and how that effects my life. It’s wonderful because I am adult and can make these decisions. I love having the freedom and the control over my life, but at the same time, sometimes having to give up something makes me very sad.
The one thing that people really don’t warn you about is loss. Loss in all senses of the word. Loss of your freedom to just be carefree because now you are responsible for everything in your life. Loss of your ability to make terrible decisions and tell people that you’re young, it’s fine. Loss of your cheap furniture and the need to buy quality items that can actually last. Loss of friends and friendships, but more to the extent of the evolution of these relationships. As people start to get into the groove of their serious relationships, if you’re anything like me, you’re the last one standing. Loss of people you love. The physical loss of someone, the hole that is created in your life that you feel like you’ll never be able to fill again. Loss of a sense of who you are as you try to figure out what the adult version of you is.
But at the same time, you gain. No one warns you about the incredible gains and it’s almost for the better. Gaining the new relationships in your life that allow you to grow and become the adult you were always meant to be. Gaining the financial freedom to purchase things or purchase experiences. Gaining the freedom to make whatever decisions you want and gaining the control of your life. Gaining the ability to recover in ways you never thought you would. Gaining the strength to overcome all the obstacles that are put in your way. It’s for the better that no one warns you about these gains because there’s nothing that anyone can ever say to make you feel prepared for the amazing feeling when you realize your potential.
Not being home right now reminds me of the losses and the gains. It reminds me of the first time I wasn’t with my family for my birthday. I remember sitting in my dorm room and crying because I felt so alone. I remember the first time I didn’t get to go home for Christmas, the first time I made the decision not to go home for Thanksgiving, the first time my parents came to visit me. Not being home reminds me of just how far I feel like I’ve come over the last few years. How much I have had to grow, how much I’ve had to convince myself that I am an adult and just how much I am not an adult.
That being said, I’m happy I have this opportunity to see just how much my life has changed and how the path to adulthood is going (or rather…not going…).