at some point, we all thought that growing up is about being able to live on your own, getting a job, or paying your own bills.
what nobody tells us though is that growing up is just a name they call for the days you spend trying to keep yourself from crying in public. growing up is just the name they call for that feeling of dread you feel when somebody says, i’m leaving you; and most definitely, growing up is the name they call for the number of times you wanted to change for the better but can’t because Rome wasn’t built overnight.
if you believed Avril Lavigne’s anthem so much, Paramore already said it for you: some of us have to grow up sometimes.
growing up, as it turns out, is a grueling process full of inconvenient heartbreaks, of companies shutting down, of people not texting back because they’re too busy to listen to you whine about the misfortunes of your life.
growing up, I learned in 2014, is that part of aging where we learn how to get a grip; it’s the part where, after an entire night of crying yourself to sleep, you still wake up in the morning and push through the day because, unless you’re Beyonce, you really don’t have a freakin’ choice.
the last four months of 2014 was the absolute best.
the company i’ve worked at for a year and a half decided to shut down–and perhaps, you never really know how damaging an impact could be until it hits you. and hit me, boy it did.
it wasn’t the kicking out that hurt. honestly, i saw that as an opportunity to start over. i’m laughing as i type this because prior to a couple of months ago, i thought starting over was a good thing. the version of me three years ago romanticized starting over so much.
and yeah, starting over is all fun and games until you’re at the foot of a mountain, trying to push a boulder up.
it wasn’t easy.
i hit what could be the biggest reset button of my life. and it wasn’t even the being unemployed part that hurt the most. it was the rejections that came after that hit me on all the parts that mattered.
at some point, i found myself on a train ride home, just trying to blink my tears away. and then the ‘we’ll call you’ started coming in consecutive weeks–sometimes days. and growing up, you learn that when they say ‘we’ll call you’ it means they never will.
when big rejections come in packages, trust me, they never get old. after a couple of no’s, you think it’ll get easier but every no is a hard no. every no is a melting realization that maybe, Whitney Houston was wrong. bless her but she was wrong–there ain’t no miracles even if you believe so hard that you almost believe you believe it.
then, there are days when you refuse to call your friends because you think nobody has time to listen to your self-esteem issues. there are days when all it would’ve taken to make you feel better was someone who’ll reassure you that it’ll be okay–but you don’t always have someone.
growing up, you learn that other people go through things probably tougher than yours but let me tell you this, wonderful soul.
do not ever downplay your pain. you’re hurting for a reason and whether or not you’re crying because your stupid cat died or you’re crying because you lost someone to cancer, your pain is valid.
your pain is always valid for the mere reason that it hurts you and it keeps you up at night.
if you knew how many times i’ve sat on the bathroom floor crying, you’d probably tear up, too.
but growing up, you learn how to get a grip. there’s a difference between crying and whining–and that difference lies in how long you’ve chosen to become miserable.
at some point, you gotta put those pints of ice cream aside and just try to shower your way out of the sweaters you’ve been wearing for days. some days, you’ll find no reason at all to get up and try again but try again anyway.
in love and life, you’ll get rejected again and again but try again anyway.
growing up, you learn how to talk yourself into trying again because one, you really don’t have a choice. and two, because trying again is better than having to lose sleep over yes-es that were never said.
then, the inevitable thing happened. i found myself almost quitting; and if you know me, you would’ve been surprised. i was never known to quit. i’m persistent to a fault.
i found myself throwing a hail Mary pass and thinking, if this doesn’t work, well then I’ll see you in hell, Satan. for the first time in my whole life, i found my demons finally winning: you’re not good enough, you dipshit.
and good enough, i wasn’t.
“one last try at this career i probably wasn’t born to take on,” i said as i throw said hail Mary pass–and Jesus Christ, the next few weeks were the hardest of weeks.
those weeks, i was so certain something is fucking wrong with my phone because why haven’t they called? or they probably got my number wrong.
whatever, at that point, you begin to realize that it’s probably you and not your phone or the wrong phone number they got.
i was almost going to start watching House from Season 1 when the call came in. and the guy i was talking to laughed when i asked, “really? i got in?”
yes, you’re qualified to attend the hogwarts school of witchcraft and wizardry. you’re a wizard, lora.
to cut the story short, i found myself with a job i like–and could possibly love–before my birthday; a birthday i celebrated worried about a tooth surgery the next day; a birthday week i celebrated quietly–literally, because i can’t speak much and my face is swelling.
it’s not the best of birthdays, it wasn’t even close.
but then you get texts and greetings from the people you may have underestimated and then you realize, that birthdays have the power to bring you closer to the people who love you and that’s not only because you’re throwing a dinner.
as i welcomed the new year, i realized that i got out of 2014 alive.
if you think this is about being employed and whatnot, then we’re not even reading the same blog post.
i’ve always had the tendency to not feel good enough. i’ve spent the last few years settling for the easier things because i wasn’t sure if young me would’ve survived the reality of life. she wouldn’t have.
but 2014 me?
she came out alive.
she didn’t repeat the mistakes of her past.
and best of all, i’ve learned that i’m not as emotionally stunted as people think i am.
i learned that as we grow up, we don’t feel less emotions. we just become better at hiding it–and for many reasons, good or bad.
as for me, i’m shocked that we’re at 1000+ words.
now that’s a feat.