Does Adulthood Even Exist?

A week or so ago, I celebrated my 26th birthday. I didn’t notice a difference. Then again…who wants to turn 26?

Adulthood…When I was in middle school, I thought high schoolers were adults. When I was in high school, I thought college students were adults. When I was in college, I thought graduates were adults.

Nope nope nope.

I just turned 26. I’m still living with my parents. I’m spending every paycheck I earn on bills with maybe $12 to blow on a nice beverage at the bar. I’m working a job that should be a career but is really only there so I can spend every paycheck on bills and blow that $12 on a nice beverage at the bar.

Is this adulthood? I thought, with every passing year, one new piece would be added to that ideal life we see in movies and read in books. Added responsibilities for growth. Decorating your own recently-bought house. Expecting them kids to pop out one after the other.

That traditional path of hitting your 20s. College. Marriage. Buying your first home. Having your first baby. Isn’t that adulthood?

Nope nope nope.

26…I’m closer to 30 than I was to 20….That sucks. And I don’t have any of my shit together.

Buuuuut…the good news is none of that matters because I choose instead to have a positive attitude. Your life’s success isn’t an overnight miracle–you’re not rubbing the genie bottle and granted three wishes. What you are doing is moving. At times breezing by, other times limping, even crawling. But no matter what you’re still moving, and more importantly you’re moving forward, because it’s the only direction. Plus, you can always choose how to handle the pace.

So let’s stay positive. Here are the most positive things right now:

-Nutrition: Tonight, I ate a salad for dinner. Then I pounded a couple of Cheetos, some Amos cookies, and will later hit the unopened bag of Oreos sitting innocently in the closet. Why? Because tomorrow is a beginning. I am going all the way with this future of healthy eating. I have never been more interested in nutrition and want it to be the critical part of my life it should be. Splurging has only been an escape of self-destruction. But no more šŸ˜‰

-Yoga:I will spend that $12 on any yoga class I can get into, because I love it oh so much. Now I just need to be more consistent with my other fitness goals.

-Writing:Ā Sculpting Beauty Chapter 1 is complete for the most part. The edits for Chapters 2-4 are next. With my nutrition novel,Ā Chasing the Beauty, well, it’s easy to write–I just have to do it. Apart from my personal writing, I have opportunities to write for Vegan websites and perhaps even a Wilmington magazine and Content Curator job.

I don’t know what adulthood is–I certainly don’t feel like I’m in that phase of it, but making decisions is definitely adulting.

 

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Step One: Awareness

Small group night #2 was pretty in depth! Here is another excerpt from my book that shows why it is so resounding!

‘It is a classic Hollywood scene: a voice shouts at four frightened souls in possession of a witch’s broomstick. Emerald cauldrons spew flames and smoke into the sky. ‘Come back tomorrow…you ungrateful creatures,’ the Great Wizard yells as his bulbous head floats over a pit of fire.

Then, in the scene’s climatic moment, a mangy little dog pulls back the green drape to reveal a worn-out circus magician cranking levers and pushing buttons.

‘Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain,’ the wizard commands them. But the hocus locus is over, the illusion is gone, and it’s time for a frightened girl from Kansas and even the Great Wizard himself to see way beyond the rainbow.

Our freedom surprisingly starts with becoming more aware of the great cover-up. It begins when we accept that all of us have veiled habits, blind spots, and hidden places in our hearts. And whatever the issues might be, we must instigate our very own Wizard of Oz moment that pulls back the curtain on the mischief maker. If we want to be free, we must be aware of the troublemaking con man behind the scenes.

But many of us will only take action against the great and powerful Oz when we can see what he is doing to us, which is of course the tricky part. We can’t see how loss, pain, and unforgivenessĀ pull levers; send us on meaningless witch hunts; and trap us in haunted forests.

Unresolved pain keeps us in a dead life where we are stripped of anything authentic. We protect ourselves with detached ambivalence to guarantee we never hurt again. Our sadness is masked in seething anger, and our daily lives become grinding, shallow, and less than magical. We gut it out and hope one day it might get better.

Some try to fix their hurts by replacing pain with short-term pleasure. Compulsive behaviors like alcohol addiction, self-injury, online fixations, illicit affairs, unrestrained shopping sprees, and the aptly named ‘comfort food’ all see us numbed up and ‘happy.’ Pain has us completely owned.

And though we might not understand what’s going on, thankfully Jesus does–and he is going to deal with it all. He promises us it doesn’t have to be this way.’

-Freeway excerpt

Mike Foster, Garry Poole

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Embrace Your Humanity

Tonight is my first official small group meeting. We will be using a book called Freeway: A Not-So-Perfect-Guide to Freedom. What I’ve read so far is pretty inspiring. Here is one of the intros, which I believe anyone can benefit from reading!

 

‘Life is a weird but wonderful mystery that none of us can fully understand. We just believe that we’re meant to show up each morning, throw on a pot of coffee, hurry out the door, try our best to survive, and accept that both good and suffering will equally share the stage of our frail and beautiful stories.

There are good parts–having birthday parties, running faster in new shoes, being debt free, going to springtime weddings, and smelling the sweetness of newborn babies. These are everyday gifts for us to savor and enjoy.

Then there are really hard parts–our battles with loneliness, the fight with our muffin top, kids who need chemo again, that affair and the divorce, our silent suffering, and our unseen addictions. These are the parts we want to begin to talk about.

For it is the dings, the skinned knees, and the broken bones of life that Jesus is most interested in. We hustle to be noticed and long to be accepted as we are. We’ve become what everyone else wants us to be–yet the best gift we could bring the world is being people God created us to be. As writer Henri Nouwen once said, ‘One of the tragedies of our life is that we keep forgetting who we are.’

Too many of us believe the lie that we need to sanitize our scandals, brush away our grief, and cover up our scars. We’re frightened that our fumbling, stumbling mess of hypocrisy and shame will soon be exposed.

Like a birthday-party magician protecting all of his tricks, we worry that someone might catch us screaming at our kids before church or snicker at our sexual history or discover we take Prozac. We hold tight to the secrets that we sneak Hershey bars into movie theaters, lied about our SAT scores, and love eating those shiny hot dogs from the local gas station.

We’re scared that if the world sees how messy our lives really are, they won’t like us one bit. They’ll leave us out of the cool kids party and our invitation will surprisingly get lost in the mail. So we bury all of our hurts and struggles underneath lies of perfection. We pretend to be OK when really we’re not. And then we eventually go nuts and become fed up that we start throwing things at our poor dog…or worse.

And if right now, we sat together at a Starbucks and you told me your story–

how you’re scared that you’re not enough, and that you feel like a screw up, and how you lie about this and that, or how you wish your friends would invite you over more often

–I would hold your hand in a non-weird sorta way, look you straight in the eye, and tell you this:

You are loved more than you could possibly know, and everything is going to be OK.’

-Mike Foster, Garry Poole

 

 

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TGIF! Here is Some Inspiration!

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Beginnings

Wellllllll…I no longer have a job.

Yesterday was final shift at Troon company. But what can I say? I despised working as an athletic attendant. Hauling heavy stuff in 90 degree weather. Witnessing blatant sexism in my department. Being so tired I took naps every day of the week. Tossing aside my other life goals. All the while, my education remained unused and seemingly obsolete.

Yep. It was time to go. Back to the job search. But…I’ve decided to use this ‘new beginning’ as a means to open up more opportunity in my life. There’s nothing I want more to do in my life than write or preach nutrition. This transition will be able to provide more emphasis on those areas. On top of that, I can finally get back to working out and continuing Sculpting Beauty as much as I can.

Beginnings:

-Going after that vegan lifestyle

-…Back to the gym

-Applying for online writing and editing posts

-Engaging in local activities and volunteer

-Realizing what I want, how much it matters to me, and how much I can go after it

 

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MONDAY MORNING PICTURES

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Selfie Sunday: Stay Strong

After this past week’s more depressing blog…

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