Two years after graduating college, and I’m no closer to successfully “adulting” then I was in second grade. Yes, it feels like I’m that far off. It may be just me, but it seems that millennials are having a much harder time navigating the murky waters of adulthood. Quite possibly, our parents never let us in to the reality that adulthood is hard, undefined, and at times downright painful, but it’s not impossible – or so they tell me.
If you asked my friends, they would tell you that my word of the year is “adulting.” It is something that I am learning how to do daily. From creating a budget that I stick to, to finding housing in the ever expensive expanse that is Los Angeles. Life is not as I expected, and in many ways it is far better. After graduating I vowed to move to New York city to make my dreams of becoming a writer a reality. Here I am two years later on the entire opposite side of the country working for a digital outlet. Life isn’t exactly what you would dream it to be. These are just a few of the things I have learned during my years of adulting, and hopefully something will resonate and let you know that we’re all in this together.
Yes, this is extraordinarily cliché. Yes, you have probably heard it a million times, we’ll let this be time one million and one, because it’s true. Dream big, but don’t forget that dreams can look differently to everyone. I have friends all over the world pursuing their passions in social work, teaching, even the medical field, and each one of them loves what they do. Don’t be afraid to pursue the things that set your soul on fire, even if no one else gets it.
Do It Anyway
I have learned that sometimes people aren’t going to understand your dreams. They are going to think you’re stupid for wanting to pursue entertainment, or naïve for thinking you can make something of yourself. Don’t let those people have a say in your decisions. No matter what path you choose, know that you deserve it and go for it.
Don’t be afraid to change directions if life isn’t going as planned. One of my biggest post-college regrets was believing that I had to do exactly what I set out to do even if my passions had changed a little. I dreamed of being a big time magazine writer in New York, but somewhere along the line that passion shifted and I kept pursuing the “idea” instead of the reality. I wish I would have learned sooner that it’s okay to change your mind. It’s okay to switch directions, and it’s okay to dream a new dream. You’re not letting anyone down; you are only doing what is right for you.
Hard Work Pays Off, But Not Instantly
I spent a lot of time being slightly unsatisfied with where I was at. I thought I would graduate, put out some applications, and boom! My dream job would fall into my lap. Of course alongside the perfect apartment, fantastic wardrobe, and doting boyfriend. Because that’s how life is supposed to work, right? Wrong. You have to work really hard, and when you are finally exhausted and ready to throw in the towel, get back up and work some more! We’re talking late nights, lots of coffee, and of a deep passion for something. It won’t happen overnight. I can attest to the fact that it might not even happen in a year, but it will happen! Keep your eye on the prize and don’t give up, and slowly you will start to see little glimpses of the life you want. Dreams do come true, but only if you have the strength to stay the course.