Grown-up life – how I’m learning to deal with change

This is a weird time of life. Even though we are technically adults, being in our twenties and all that, somehow adult behaviour is surprising. The transition from students to young professionals I’ve just about got used to, but it’s the big life stage stuff that catches me off guard. For example, my first friend to have a baby. A beautiful thing to happen, but nevertheless one of those moments that takes you by surprise and makes you realise life is really happening. Not like in the uni bubble when life revolves around a mixture of socialising, partying, friendship dynamics and study. But like the grown up life that you always saw as separate from you. as something that occurred way off in the future. That is now reality.

Seemingly everyone is getting engaged. Okay not everyone, but a big enough proportion of my friends for it to freak me out. Of course, it’s an incredible thing and I’m very happy for those people, but if I’m to be brutally honest with myself, the idea of mapping out my entire life at the tender age of 23 terrifies me. Is there something wrong with me for feeling like this? Having been brought up going to church and my faith being important to me, I find this aspect of church culture perhaps less shocking than some of my friends that aren’t so used to it. But contrarily these are some of my closest friends and I often agree with their views. Sometimes I feel caught in a strange tug of war between my roots and my own mind, part of me wanting to conform with the traditional beliefs of my parents and elders, whilst finding another part of me objecting to and challenging these ideas. This is not to pretend that I am in a different position from anyone else, on reflection a lot of life is weighing up what you’ve been taught against what you experience. It is more to express my own confusion at this tumultuous time of life when so much is changing.

And I don’t mean that in a negative way, confusion just is what it is. In years to come I’m sure I’ll look back at my twenties with fondness, full already of happy memories alongside the harder moments. Last week I attended the wedding of a close friend and it was one of the most brilliant days perhaps of my life; friendship, family, love and God all in one event to make you remember what life is about. Watching my little sister graduate last month and us both becoming godparents soon are other landmarks that remind me life is moving on. But as much as change can scare me, without it there would be none of these special moments. And change does not mean leaving everything else behind – a recent weekend with some of my best friends from uni where it felt just like old times reminded me of this – some things do last and that is a big relief. As scared and perplexed by this decade’s changes as I sometimes feel, I know I’m not evolving through it by myself. I’m surrounded by loved ones to get me embracing this grown-up life.

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