How to Cope When All of your Friends are Adulting
I should really change my name to Peter Pan because that is exactly who I am. I have flown off to Neverland with no short term plans to return back to earth. I am off flying around with childish glee looking down at the rest of the world as it continues to spin on without me. Should I feel wrong? Should someone yank me back down to earth? Should I leave the lost boys in Neverland? Probably.
There are many things that you can never fully prepare yourself for in life. One of those many things is how to react when everyone you grew up with is growing up and moving on, but you can't. Why leave Neverland when the world seems so cruel and cold?
All of this colorful language is just a fancy way of saying I need to learn how to grow up. As a kid I welcomed adulthood like it was an old friend. I grew up around adults. I always got along with teachers better than my fellow students, in Girl Scouts I was a girl member to the board of directors and delegates. I hate to use the phrase, because it is terribly cliche, but the amount of times I've been called "an old soul" is exhausting. Never the less, here I am telling you how to cope with not growing up.
I would never say I am immature. Mentally and emotionally I am very much grown up. However seeing my friends moving all over the country, getting married, and having kids, is something that makes this Peter Pan fly higher and higher. The idea of feeling like you are being trapped in a world you cannot control is a thought I enjoy pushing out of my mind.
I wanted this article to be a survival guide, but I fear it is turning into a therapy session. So, let's change the tone a bit and make this into the piece I wanted it to be.
You may be like me, stuck in the position of being the only one stuck in that weird purgatory of being a child and an adult. You have friends moving thousands of miles away, setting up their life that will be the life they have as they grow older. You have friends settling down with the one they want to spend the rest of their life with. You have friends welcoming children into the world. Then, there is you. Living in your hometown with no motivation to settle down anytime soon.
You may be like me; paying adult bills, working in an adult job, and making adult decisions. However when it comes to it, you still feel like a scared child who cannot get their 'ish together. You feel like you've got all of the time in the world, you're still young. Who cares if your parents were married and having their second or third kid by now? Things are different now. Then, there is that part of you that screams at you when you try falling asleep at night, telling you that you are wasting precious time. How do you quiet that voice?
Sadly, I cannot answer that question because I too have that voice. However, I did say I wanted this to be a survival guide and I do have one piece of advice that I hope helps.
I know, I know terribly cliche. However, settling down and moving across the country won't make you happy. There is a quote from Breakfast at Tiffany's that I like to live by because it is something we often try to ignore. George Peppard's character Paul Varjack gives Audrey Hepburn's character Holly Golightly the truth she's needed to hear her whole life, "...Because no matter where you run, you just end up running into yourself."
We get so caught up in what we think will make us happy, rather just sitting down and accepting what really makes us happy. If living in a one bedroom apartment with your cat makes you truly happy, then do it. One day how you feel may change, but going through the motions in a life you don't want won't make anyone around you happy. Acceptance is a beautiful thing. No one is happy with developing Stockholm syndrome with their own life.
Let's yet again be cliche and say be happy with what you have and forget about what you don't. It'll make life much more pleasant.
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