I’ve recently been feeling like my 21st birthday is right around the corner. It’s kind of like looming over my head. (Truthfully, it’s four months away, but still.)
To be honest, I used to think 21 was so old. Not in a bad way; in a “grown up, starting to have it all figured out” kind of way. The way I pictured myself at 21 is not the way that I am now, but again, not in a bad way. It’s just different. I’m definitely still “figuring it out” and there are better days than others.
Being 20-something can seem so… volatile. One step forward in one area. One step backward in the another. One day feeling confident, the next feeling so insecure. One project going off without a hitch, another not getting off the ground. My heart might be bursting with happiness one minute and then I’m overanalyzing a text the next. The constant up and down is so exhausting and I know it’s not just me as I watch my friends go through the same thing.
I just got sick of feeling the uncertainty. Really, I was over it and totally would have clicked the fast forward button to my thirties, or hell, my forties. But… isn’t the only thing certain about life the uncertainty of it all? While I would imagine a lot of the crazy ups and downs will taper off as life settles with age (like raging teenage hormones), the volatility will likely remain to a certain extent.
And so, I’ve actually just decided to embrace the uncertainty and the change of attitude alone has made a dramatic difference.
Here’s what I think it boils down to:
Pretty simple, right? Not necessarily easy, but simple. Learning from the past without dwelling on it will keep you moving in a positive (and smart) direction. Working for the future will just keep you moving in general… nothing worse than staying stagnant! (I also think this one means being smart about things that you do: living within your means, working for promotions, staying healthy, etc.)
Handing what comes your way is probably the hardest part. You don’t want to stress about things that haven’t happened, but you also don’t want to get bulldozed over when something does. I take a deep breath, get my bearings, and then start to problem-solve. I might ask for advice or try a few things before it works out. Getting through what you need to get through doesn’t need to be dramatically the end of the world. It shouldn’t get in the way of your progress or growth. In fact, it IS your progress and it IS (most definitely) your growth.
The question isn’t really if something not-great might happen, it’s how you handle it that makes the difference. You can turn it into a positive experience based on how you handle it, despite the circumstances themselves.