happy sunday loves.
i am now at the age that i used to dream about being. and i feel like i’m not alone in trying to hold up that imagined self aside my actual self, to compare. for nobody and for no reason. turning 22 in the last month has helped me to develop ideas about how and who i am. where i’m going. how well i’m doing this thing. this adulting. i wanted to write quite briefly and quite personally about my observations so far.
a note on adulting:
- living alone.
this is a massive point, maybe the biggest in my life so far. i’ve actually been living alone for 4 years. i moved out of home at 18 to come to a new city for university. living alone did mean something different at that stage. that was a cushioned and pre-prepared version of living alone – which was nice. but not what i needed once finishing with uni. 10 months in, and i’m learning about depending on self, not being able to travel back home as freely as uni allowed, getting sick and bringing your own self back to health (over and over), being the sole bill payer, figuring out when i am alone or when i am lonely, not killing plants. all that stuff. in the early stages it even felt temporary, like even though i had paid and gone through the necessary procedures, it was not entirely mine. (impostor’s syndrome) and sometimes i wonder if i rushed the process, but it had to happen because i love this independence, i love managing my own space and having complete autonomy over it.i love knowing that even after a long day, i can come home to a space that is completely my own. but on the flip side, all of the responsibility of living alone fell solely on me. i had to depend on myself completely. i feel like living alone has taught me how to guard my space, reevaluate which types of people i will allow into my space, which kinds of energy, which kinds of words i will allow or ban in my home. which kinds of practices learnt form my mother i will cherish and include in my home.
if living alone has taught me anything, it is how to use my home to elevate my situation. if i felt at peace in my space, i could control my self. and i could take that everywhere. i could take that confidence everywhere and to everyone, and whoever visited my home could feel that. ofcourse you have low days, seasons, but you are conscious of that. you make it a priority to know your external and internal mechanisms. ultimately, it is my safe space. the one i have always been mentally interior designing since like year 9 lool. but it is mine, a material blessing and a place of limitless, honest growth.
2. selfcare/time out
everybody knows i am a massive self-love advocate. i find new and creative ways to explore this for myself. the more i’ve grown and developed into my self and new environments, the more i’ve noticed that selfcare can mean doing nothing. sitting down and doing nothing. it can mean withdrawal and silence. and the more i understand that as a mindful ritual of mine, the safer i feel in myself. i’ve just started a new job, it’s pretty much 8.30-5.30 and i have to be okay with coming home and doing nothing. i owe myself some time to be still. constantly. not as a one off. i actually had a lot of tasks that were overdue in my creative schedule, but my priority is avoiding burnout. this feeds into my journey to de-westernising my mind.western society suggests that you must have TV or music or something to fill the emptiness. that is a norm i don’t need.what i need is to check in with what i feel in my body, where my thoughts go when i am alone, how i can nourish myself in the most sensible way. nothing is more important than the amount of time you can dedicate to yourself when noone has asked you to.especially as it draws towards the shabbat. as a routine, i naturally find myself just taking time out. i decide to switch off from the rest of the world and plug into myself. and for many people, that may feel natural and obvious and for others it may seem extra or selfish. all i know is whilst i’ve been going through the stages of adulting, i’ve really been able to survive by spending down time in myself. selfcare can be as minimal as you need it to be, it can be quiet and elongated, it just needs to make sense to your needs.
i’ve definitely learnt how to balance my attention. at one stage, i was balancing two part-time jobs whilst job hunting for a full-time role that wouldn’t be too compromising. that was tough in itself. on top of that i had to maintain my creative work. my blog. my book. my scripts. and i really found this difficult. i still find this difficult. i think it is something about side-hustling being a necessity in my generation. it is something that you obviously must do in order to achieve and arrive at where you want to be. i found myself going through seasons – sometimes i was absorbed in my world, in the world of the play i’m creating or in the the blog and then at other times, i had to just retreat from it. the creative world can feel over-saturated at times and it was important to me not to ‘be a creative’ for the sake of it.
i had to be hustling because i believed in where i was going, not because i might fall behind otherwise. everything has to be intentional.nothing is up for comparison. the joy of side-hustling for me has to lie in the promise of it being my own secret, my own task that only i can and track and be proud of when i arrive at my goal. i can’t keep that spark if i’m building something just because everyone else is. find the reason, guard it and hustle your way there with purpose. (living life on purpose is something i’m focussing on thanks to this brother’s meditations.)
4. saying yes
we hear a lot about saying no, but not enough about saying yes. as i’ve mentioned, living alone and balancing jobs has meant that, inevitably, i do have a lot of responsibility. i do need to think for myself. i’ve accepted that i have to be a little bit more sensible than your average 21/22 year old might want to be. still, i’ve learnt the importance of saying yes sometimes.when you’re invited out and you’re on a budget, just go. have a budget night of fun. say yes to an opportunity you wouldn’t normally. and say yes, especially to yourself. give yourself permission and approval, give yourself authority.i’ve learnt that massively this year.
i think learning to say ‘no’ is a journey that allows self-preservation and renewed understanding of self worth. there is a separate strength that i’ve learnt through saying yes and picking myself up to just go without overthinking or rationalising. i think it’s a lesson about trusting the process. and it’s a good one for those of us who are in danger of sacrificing the joy of being young in a world that wants you to go through the motions. interrupt the process abruptly and let yourself be as spontaneous as you are wise.
this is probably the main point most people think about concerning adulting: how do you manage. how do you get by. but i think it is about saying, ‘this is my situation right now. this is what i have. this is where i work. this is how much money i have right now. this is what i will do with this.’ it really is about accepting yourself, right where the hell you are and not being intimidated by it.this point is quite important. i have found that in order to properly do this adult thing, you need to dismiss (for the most part) where you thought you’d be or where you planned to be. that was a guideline, that was your plan, that proves that you exist and that younger you cared enough about older you to make a plan.it does not stand as something to score yourself up against. we make decisions everyday, beautiful ones that draw us closer to a life Yah has planned for us. we also make decisions based off fear, that seem practical and draw us closer to a path that we planned for ourselves. a life carved from fear, precaution and desperation to maintain a life that maybe isn’t for us, will waste away self.
be kind to your present self.think about where you are now, be grateful, be aware of your goal and aspirations and part-take to the best of your ability. i am definitely still learning this and definitely talking to myself as i write this, but i think as a generation we are constantly fed false images of realities and we need to regain a sense of ourselves. life’s details are so intricate and complex, painful sometimes, full most of the time and why should we crush our growth, to fit it into something that is lesser than what our lives could be? let life show you how far you have come and how much further you can go and celebrate all the while.
thank you for reading what i write.
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