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Transitioning From Young Adult To Adult

Transitioning From Young Adult To Adult

A global pandemic aside, 2020 was supposed to be a year of challenges for me anyway. After all, this year marks the beginning of a new, terrifying chapter for me: adulthood, and all the responsibilities that come along with it.

Now, I had a good idea of what some of these challenges would be like even if I had no clue how to overcome them. For instance, I knew that job hunting would be a nerve wrecking, soul crushing experience, but I had no idea how to prepare for all those sleepless nights where I felt absolutely worthless and insignificant. Even after finally landing an internship at a digital marketing agency, and later, an entry level job at a software company, my sense of self worth didn’t improve much until only a week ago.

A week ago, I learned one of the first lessons of adulthood that I hope I can pass on to my younger sister when it is her time to take on these responsibilities too.

Transitioning From Young Adult To Adult

Your worth is not defined by your bank balance

This is undoubtedly one of those basic lessons that you are taught as a child. My parents had always raised me to be pragmatic but also to be kind, and compassionate and to not judge others. And I don’t. What I didn’t learn growing up was to not judge myself. I didn’t learn to show myself the kindness and compassion I show others (even if it isn’t much).

And so during those sleepless nights when I was berating myself for all the rejection letters, I began to question my capabilities. I still believe that I am lacking in several ways to have been rejected so many times, but since last week I have stopped thinking that my shortcomings make me any less deserving of respect. I have stopped thinking that it makes me any less of a human being. And this way of rewiring my thought process has helped me immensely in only a week.

This brings me to the second most important lesson I have learned during this ongoing transition from young adulthood to adulthood.

Transitioning From Young Adult To Adult

Happiness is a state of mind

If I ever thought that my dream job was gonna bring me happiness, I was wrong. Not simply because I didn’t get it, but because I have found happiness where I am. I am not entirely satisfied because I yearn for more. I want a job that isn’t so specialized, where I can learn skills I can use elsewhere. I want a job with more benefits and better pay so I pay for my higher studies myself.

To put it simply, I am ambitious, and I have realized that that means I will never be satisfied because I will always be looking forward to what comes next.

But that does not mean that I cannot take happiness from my work. I write for a living now, and while it is not the type of content that I am particularly passionate about, it does involve topics that interest me, and I always savor the satisfaction of submitting a good write-up.

I have felt this same satisfaction during my internship as a Strategy and Content Planner at a digital marketing agency, but I was overworked and underpaid, and that kind of stuff tends to suck out the happiness from you, even when you love the nature of your job.

What I learned is that happiness doesn’t really come from getting something you want. It only adds to the happiness you hold inside. Learning to be happy is a state of mind, and it is extremely hard to get there. I don’t think I am there yet, but I think I am getting there. And since states of the mind tend to change, I wouldn’t be surprised if I feel differently a week from today. For now though, I choose to enjoy these moments of peace and calm while they last.

I am sure that there are so many more lessons life has in store for me, but there is one that I learned in these past 3 months, one that I think is the most important lesson of all. It is this.

Transitioning From Young Adult To Adult

Love is a responsibility

I cannot help but remember my favorite quote from my favorite book The Little Prince as I write this. Love is truly a responsibility, and from my experience, I believe that when you start taking responsibility for the ones you love, your love for them only grows. It is nurtured into something deeper and stronger.

Perhaps that is why most parents love their children so unconditionally and selflessly. When you realize that you are responsible for the well-being and safety of someone else, it changes you.

It wasn’t a child who taught me this lesson, nor was it a man or a woman. I learned this bittersweet lesson from 9, beautiful innocent street puppies. One of them was truly my own–unlike the others I’d taken her in because she had no pack, no litter mates, no one to save her or teach her how to survive the streets. She’d been rescued from being killed by larger dogs, and then switched between two houses in the span of two nights, before finally being thrown out in the cold to die. When we found her she’d been so traumatized that she’d given up eating or drinking; she wouldn’t even respond to anyone standing right in front of her face.

I kept her with me for a month and did my best to give her all the love I could. It’s been 3 months since her death, and I still feel her absence every single day. I still cannot sleep at night–the slightest sound outside wakes me up and my eyes keep looking for hers. She was a light sleeper, and was scared of loud noises, and had a habit of looking at me for cues whenever she was afraid. Only after I’d say “shh” would she go back to sleep, knowing that she was safe.

Grief is something I am familiar with. I know all the stages of it. I know what it is like to lose the people you love. I have lost aunts and uncles to cancer during the past 8 years, and I have lost 7 puppies in the span of 3 months. I try my best to give all my love to the two remaining street puppies next door–watching them play with their parents and with each adds to my happiness. But I will always miss the one I made mine the most.

Because to love is to tame. And you become responsible forever for what you’ve tamed.

Transitioning From Young Adult To Adult



8 thoughts on “Transitioning From Young Adult To Adult”

  1. Such a beautiful post ❤

    I’m sorry to hear this has been such a painful time.

    I know you’ll have heard this endlessly, but please be patient with yourself. Work takes time to figure out, but it does start to come together in the end. Like you’ve said, it has no bearing on your worth. Markets are tough – most especially creative ones – and I have found to be honest that the most valuable skill you’ll cultivate is determination to keep going with even when it’s hard. Sending hugs ❤

    1. Thank you Lydia. Your words mean a lot to me. Given the crisis going on right now I am trying to be grateful to even have a job. I won’t give up my hopes for better opportunities but I am trying not to berate myself for every rejection.

      I hope you are doing well as well and staying safe too 💕

      1. I think right now it’s all about being grateful for the little things like that. The job stuff does get sorted in the end, don’t worry.

        I’m doing okay, thank you <3

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