When we’re young, it’s so easy to picture ourselves exactly where we want to be. Our parents and teachers encourage us to chase these dreams because of the benefits. If we decide to be a doctor, then we get to save lives. If we decide to be an architect, we can design beautiful buildings and bridges so people can travel and live comfortably.
What they don’t tell you is how hard it is to achieve these dreams. It takes tons of work and self-sacrifice, and in the end might not work out. This is the part that adults like to leave out. What they should tell us, is that if we want to be a doctor then we need to study very hard, no holidays, you need to work shifts in the hospital while you study which makes it very difficult to maintain a work-life balance. And worst of all, you can’t save all of your patients.
So we can’t blame ourselves for giving up so easily. We were led to believe that if we wanted something hard enough, it would be ours; but we were never shown how to work for it. We were never told how much suffering comes along with chasing a dream.
Adulthood sucks and we all know it. Where did we go wrong? It’s because our expectation does not match the reality. Growing up is different than growing old, because getting old is inevitable. Your experiences have shaped you, define the person that you are, and the person you continue to grow into. Maturity is defined by the way how you perceive experiences, how you react to them, self-reflection after the fact, and the way that you carry on after the fact.
Any experience is a chance to shape yourself. You can let the outcome make you a better person; or let it break you. Face responsibility and sort out a solution. These are actions of a grown-up individual.
Growing old is easy, but growing up is painful. To be the best person you can be, you need to experience as much as you can. Take those experiences, and let them shape you into being stronger, smarter and better. Things are going to constantly blindside you, so learn to adapt. Keep your mind open, always be receptive to more knowledge. The moment that you stop learning is the moment that you stop growing.