An open letter to my teenage self (on aging, adulthood, and growth)

An open letter to myself from ten years ago,

I am now twenty-eight. I’m going through my Saturn return. When I was born, Saturn was in Pisces. After twenty-eight years, Saturn has made its first return to Pisces since my birth. Saturn return is a sort of cosmic rite of passage in which you have fully entered adulthood. It’s when you can no longer run from karma, you have to face reality, and you are forced to take responsibility.

You are eighteen years-old. You’ve just become an adult, but you’re still a teenager at the same time, and won’t completely be considered an adult until you’re twenty-one. Weird, right!?

I’m still growing up myself, and will still be in the process of growing up for the rest of my life, despite how long I may (or may not) live. I believe this rings true for everyone. I just hope you understand that nobody ever truly grows up. Whether it’s your late twenties, your forties, sixties, eighties, and so forth… adults are just children with more experiences.

Nobody ever prepares you for adulthood, aging, and growth. That’s why I’m writing you this letter — to try and give you some type of insight that you’ll need sooner rather than later.

I know you’re rolling your eyes at all of the constant news articles about Millennials. I know you’re having a good laugh about the whole “avocado toast” craziness. But just wait, because now they’re obsessing over Gen-Z. That’s a term you may have only heard once or twice before, but just wait, and it’ll be everywhere. And ten years from now, it’s going to be all about Gen-Alpha.

Anyway, back to my point, is how nobody really explains what adulthood is. You don’t have to reach any “milestones” to get here — you don’t have to graduate college, or get married, or have kids, or be CEO of your company, or win a special prize to get here. You get to adulthood by surviving each day.

For X amount of days, you woke up and got out of bed, you breathed in and out, and then you came back to bed and fell asleep. Maybe it was a good day or maybe it was a bad day. Maybe you skipped class, or called sick out of work, or never left your bedroom. Maybe the only accomplishment that day was going to the bathroom a few times and eating a bag of chips. Regardless, you survived. Each and every one of those days, especially the bad ones, you could’ve chosen to give up and die — but every day, you chose to survive.

Adulthood is just about surviving. That may come off as negative, but it’s intended to do the opposite — it’s intended to point out how simple life really is. Your only job in life is surviving. God forbid the Universe decides that it’s your time to go, then so be it. But that is the Universe’s call, not yours.

And I hate the fact that society makes adulthood out to be something more than what it actually is. I hate that the shows we watch and books we read, the music we hear, the conversations we have with others, the expectations set for us by the workforce and the educational system, conditions us to believe that adulthood is a list full of boxes we have to check.

The pressure of coming into adulthood is going to weigh you down heavier than anything you faced as a child. (Yes, a teenager is still a child — I know you disagree with me on this.) I just want to remind you that there are no expectations that you need to meet.

You’re going to graduate college and get a full time job. It’s going to be a shock when your peers are no longer your age, but all ages ranging from twenties to sixties. You’ll become friends with people who are older than your parents, but you know them as your peers. You’ll have far more in common than you realize with people of all ages. You’ll be shocked when all of those people you thought were in their early twenties like you, are actually in their thirties, maybe even forties.

You’ll see that nobody has their shit together. We’re all just doing our best. And then you’ll get even older, and then people in their early twenties will feel young to you. But then, again, you’ll realize that you’re all the same. We’re all humans. Different experiences, but more similarities than you’d think. We’re all more connected than you realize.

Adulthood is not bad or scary. But it’s also not rainbows and unicorns either. It’s both. It’s childhood, but a lot more intense, with a lot heavier repercussions.

I want to prepare you for how heavy this transition is. Don’t take it lightly. Allow yourself to grieve the part of your life that you’ll never get back, but always remember. Allow yourself to cry when the heaviness is all too much. Be gentle with yourself.

I’m pretty nervous about the next ten years. I’ll be thirty-eight. I also don’t like to assume that I’m going to live X amount of years. Life is precious and short, so I try to just be grateful for any time that I have been granted. The amount of pain life is does not compare to the amount of joy that has come from meeting incredible souls. People are what make life worth it, even when you only know them for a few years, maybe even a few months.

I can imagine my soul staring into a white light, debating if I should incarnate on Earth again. My soul remembers how painful it is: to get out of bed in the morning in the freezing cold and drive to work, to face embarrassment and rejection and disappointment and all of those other yucky emotions, to have your heart broken, etc. But then someone tells me, “you’re going to see this person, and that person, and that other person!” And then my soul jumps in.

Anyways… getting distracted from the point again… yeah! That’s basically all there is to it — adulthood, again, and growth is heavy. The pressure will get to you and there will be days when you completely explode. But without aging, you wouldn’t have as many experiences, which means opportunities to meet so many awesome people. I think that when you were born, there was a list of souls that you were destined to meet — if you weren’t promised that, then you never would’ve jumped back into life.

And you’ll see them again. This is something that you have already begun to learn. No one completely disappears from your life. You will see them again in this life — and if you don’t, then you’ll see someone who reminds you exactly of them, and it won’t feel exactly the same but it will feel very close. And then, once you die, I really do think that you will ultimately meet their soul again in the afterlife. And THEN, you’ll have even more chances to see them in more lives (hopefully on better planets — no offense Earth, we love you and hope you heal.)

Love, older and wiser me.


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