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The Game of Life

Since turning 19, have you ever thrown your arms in the air and hoped for a do-over? Hoped to get a second attempt at this whole adulting…thing? If not, tell me your secret, because I certainly find myself struggling every now and then.

When I was younger, my parents, uncles and aunts, teachers and other adults would often tell me, “Don’t be in such a rush to grow up!” And I always thought, that’s just because you’re trying to keep me from all the fun you folks get to have on the other side of the legal drinking age. You can stay out as late as you want, you can drink whenever you want, you don’t have to answer to your parents, you don’t have to ask for pocket money, and you have to shove your ass to school every single day. I mean what are you complaining about! That sounds absolutely dreamy!!

Ahhhh that naivety…

Kids, if you’re reading this, let me tell you: Adulting isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be.

As a teenager, or even a pre-teen, I couldn’t wait to grow up and have some of those “real,” “grown up” problems like mortgage payments and a humdrum 9-5. I mean, come on, childhood was lame. You had no freedom, no independence, no income. I hated being a dependant. But, knowing what I know now, kids please SLOW THE FUCK DOWN! Don’t sprint your way to adulthood. Enjoy your childhood, enjoy the perks of being a dependant.

Honestly, sometimes it feels like I woke up one day and suddenly I was a grown-ass human with very real problems, when just yesterday, I was worrying about midterms and that crush of mine who looked at me for one micro-sec. That unpredicted, un-practiced eye contact, it’s repercussions and a 2000-word English paper were once my biggest problems. Not. Anymore.

Now, for the adults reading this post, can I ask you something? And would you answer truthfully?

What happened to the dreams you once had as a child? A time when nothing was impossible, nothing was unattainable. No matter what anyone said, you knew in your heart that you could do or be anything you wanted. What I’d give to get back that innocent, no-strings-attached confidence in myself and in the world.

I realize this post is a bit of a downer, but any adult worth their drinking years will know that there’s some truth to what I’m saying. With each passing year, your count of unmemorable days increases and soon it’s all about milestones and nothing more. Your wedding, your first kid, your second kid, your promotion (maybe), an uncle’s death, and other major good or bad life events. Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays blur into one special moment until you finally resurrect from the dead for the weekend. Even then, you’re often too tired from the stresses of the week to go WILD or YOLO. Let’s be honest, if you’re up past midnight on any given day, it’s not from a partying too hard. You’re either dealing with insomnia, stress headaches, or you drank coffee too late that day. And hey, let’s not forget what happens when you do muster up the courage to do downtown, and god forbid, have a few drinks. When the next morning is nothing short of hell, and you’re wondering if you should donate your worldly possessions and live out your days with some monks in the Himalayas because it’s all just too much.

You know, when I was younger, I used to think I would have my entire life sorted out by the time I was thirty years old. After all, thirty was soooooo far away; being thirty was like being ancient. I had a plan in my head and it all made sense chronologically. I’ll tell you right now: that plan was shit. So far, I don’t think I’ve checked off one thing on that list, and I’m closer to thirty than twenty-five. A LOT closer. I beat myself over it every now and then, for not living up to my younger self’s expectations. I give myself a hard time for not working hard enough or smart enough, for not saving enough money, for not investing enough money, for watching too much Netflix, for basically doing everything that kept me from achieving my goals. I do this and feel super crappy, at least until my fresh, cheap and reliable bottle of Hardy’s kicks in.

I probably sound like one depressed bag of disappointments to you. So put down your phone before you start dialing 9-1-1, I’m not depressed. I’m not a sad person. Far from it actually. But when did it become socially uncomfortable to talk about things you’re unhappy with, or reminisce about your younger, more hopeful days. It is, or should be, okay to vent about the mundaneness of adult life. Not everyone is living the dream. I know that’s a fact because I’m sure most of you don’t dream about sitting in traffic on your commute to and from work. Come on now, not everyone can be a travel blogger, running out of pages in their passport (yeah, I paraphrased Drake. So wut.)

Shouldn’t it be okay to want more from life without knowing how to get that? And shouldn’t it be okay to talk about it? It’s okay to want to “follow your passion, so you never have to work a day in your life.” And I think it’s bloody well okay to complain about the fact that you don’t fucking have a passion. (Does Netflix binging count?) I mean how do these people do it? How do they find out what they love and then have the courage and cleverness to do after it, AND make money doing it!

I don’t know the answers but I can damn well ask the questions.

Don’t quote me on this but maybe, I think, probably, at least part of the answer lies in the romanticized idea of “letting go”. Did you read that in Morgan Freeman’s voice with an echo maybe? If not, go back and read it again. Letting go… letting go… letting go… Letting go of my younger self’s naive expectations from life. I think I need to stop judging myself through Young Sonia’s eyes, and start experiencing who I am through my own. Sure, I have dreams that are yet to be fulfilled, but I also have some really cool stuff going on in my life that Young Sonia never predicted.

I have an amazing boyfriend (why does everything always circle back to a boy, huh? Well, it does and he makes me happy.) We travel wherever, whenever we want… still working on the whenever part of that equation. We order in dinner when we want (which is most days, unfortunately). We’re silly and we make each other laugh. We offer our opposite perspectives when the other needs it, and we argue like kids over stupid things. We also join forces to defend Westworld to anyone who dares say anything less than high praises for the show. Now doesn’t that sound like a dreamy romance? It’s got its ups and downs but we found each other and I don’t think that’s anything short of magic.

Another cool thing: I have bitchy best girlfriends. Wait, wait… that’s a good thing. If your girlfriends aren’t bitchy with you, what’s the point in even having them around? If I want someone to show me the better way, lift me higher, and elevate my soul, I’ll listen to Dalai Lama. But it’s not always about being the better person. It’s about talking shit about people or events so you can vent and be human. And when you have girlfriends who support that process — well that’s the fucking dream, innit.

What’s the point of writing all this? I guess it’s about accepting my life for what it is right now. It’s flipped 10 times over in the last few years, and I’ve been so busy “going with the flow” that I have not stopped to take it all in. So here’s the moment. I choose to be grateful for the gifts I’ve been blessed. I also choose to try to learn from the lessons I’ve been given. Even though I’m far from that checklist, I think I’m on track for the things that matter. I’ve evolved as a person, as a daughter, as a friend, and as a lover and I guess the fun of life is that evolution will never stop. Who knows what Future Sonia will have to say about this rant of a post, but the Present Sonia, me, in this very moment, is happy. Happy with this “rant of a post”, happy with my choices, happy with the messiness of family and work, happy with my body, soul and spirit. Just happy.

Thank you.