in Self Improvement

Your Teenage Self Is Holding You Hostage


Remember when they told you that being an adult means you own a home, get married, have kids, have a job, make lots of money and you’re totally happy doing it?

Yeah, well fuck “they”.

Who the hell is they anyway?

It feels like we’ve all been set on this arbitrary path cobbled together by merchants and magazines who really just need to sell shit. Yet we’ve sucked it all up and now we’re broke af trying to keep up with “being an adult”.

And you know something, no matter how much you’re exposed to the “new way of thinking” and the realization that no one else has it together either, there’s still that nagging voice in your head every time you take stock of your life and it’s whispering, “You’re not good enough.”

You know who that is, don’t you? That’s your 16-year-old self. The one who sat down in her cozy little bed shielded from the world and wrote that list of “things to do before I’m 25” based on what she saw on TV.

Well tell that 16-year-old to go play on a highway. (Just kidding, don’t do that. I want her to stick around so she can read this, because selfish.)

But seriously though, why are you letting your naive, completely unaware teenage self hold you hostage to a set of arbitrary goals when she knew nothing about adult life?

Her relationship experience was Barbie and Ken – lifeless dolls she literally had control over, whom had beach houses and drop-top Corvettes without paying mortgage or car loans.

Her only job options were lawyer and doctor because those were the high-paying jobs. No one told her about those amazing jobs that are way more fulfilling, but with less pay. She had no clue what job fulfillment was, or that lawyer or doctor meant 40 fucking years of paying student loans and potentially contending with some of the worst people on the planet.

She had no clue how fucked up the country would be and how it would affect her income, her lifestyle and her purchase of beauty products. (Side note: have you ever added up how much you spend on that shit?! Damn you, Fontana Beauty Counter.)

She didn’t know about corporate politics or awful bosses. She didn’t know about delaying life goals for love. She didn’t know about anxiety and depression and the way they can make our whole lives seem completely worthless even though that’s never true.

Let’s face it. That girl was Jon Snow. She knew nothing. And if you met someone who knew nothing today, you wouldn’t let them control your life, would you? So why are you letting her do it?

Tell her to get lost. And throw away that damn list.

Now let’s hold your life to a different standard. YOUR standard. 

Because honestly, even though that life sounds perfect in movies and books, it’s probably not the perfect life for you, and chances are, you won’t be able to afford it any time soon anyway. Plus, spending your days chasing society’s dream sounds like a really dumb waste of time.

And don’t fall into that trap of setting arbitrary goals for 10 years from now either. ‘Cuz life will just fuck it all up again.

Instead, think about now. Think about the small steps you can take to put your life on the right path. Think more about the next checkpoint along the way, not the final destination.

And don’t you forget to celebrate the small wins. And just be proud of who you are now, even if life’s not perfect. Not because they mean much in the big picture. Well, they kinda do.

But most importantly, giving up on adulting every once in a while so you can drink alcohol and revel in debauchery is way more fun.

And you deserve fun. Fun is good. Cheers!