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30 and the Reality Monster

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Me at the age of 16: When I'm eighteen years old, I will be socially adept, I will be put together and worldly. Other girls will envy me.

Me at the age of 18: Okay, so I probably need more time to grow up. Maybe when I'm 24.

Me at the age of 24: Is this what being in your twenties is like? Seriously? Man, I need a drink.

Me at the age of 30: Weekends now mean more social life but little alcohol? Check. My bestfriends are getting married? Check. Still living with my parents while bemoaning my existence and bad luck? CHECK.

For the longest time, I used to think that when life threw me lemons? It better throw them at me by the bucket because I come armed with tequila! Obviously, I had the happy-go-lucky, devil-may-care attitude. But then. But then. Fast forward to today, at the age of 30? I pretty much feel like life had smacked me, but not before pulling the proverbial rug under me and making me land on my behind. Hard. (Ouch.) Reality check does not get any better (or feistier) after a series of mishaps and mistakes. Three months after hitting the big three-oh, I still find myself searching for something. I felt lost and confused. I felt like life should be more than this. Sure, I have a terrific job, one I actually like. Yes, my family functions normally like human beings and we get along most of the time. Also, I couldn't ask for a better set of friends. I go out and have some fun. Life is pretty stable and good. So what else is there? And then I realized, with both horror and fascination, that I have stepped into a stage of limbo called "Quarterlife Crisis." Terrified that I would fail escaping this, I started to furiously search for happiness to fill in the blanks. I filled my time with activities that interested me. I bought my own blog. I've been writing in shirt bursts here and there. I crammed my weekends with socializing. I went on a trip with my friends (first time! — I know, I'm a late bloomer.), I tried the zip line, I chickened out halfway through rappelling and my thighs shook while wall climbing. While these were thrilling and joyous experiences, it was still a no go. I still haven't passed the good old Go. I still haven't collected my $200. I still felt like I was missing something and I had to do something.

Is this adulthood? I get headaches from bills that arrive monthly at my doorstep. I can no longer pull an all-nighter for days on end. I can't drink six shots of tequila and still be able to go home in peace. I am now more aware of the consequences of my decisions. So yeah, I guess this is what it means to be old.

This stage in life is confusing. What else is there? Should I enter a convent? Volunteer at UNICEF? Adopt a baby? Get another cat? Hunt down aliens and demand answers? I am far from figuring things out but I have faith that this rut I am in? I will eventually find my way out. Maybe one day I'll see breadcrumbs, follow its path and then voila! My life's purpose is solved!

The realities of adulthood seems so much more romantic and poetic when portrayed in books and movies. In real life? Realities don't just bite. They come after you with their mouths wide open, sharp teeth ready to chomp on you and you better pray it doesn't digest you. While I am still figuring out what my life is all about, I am determined to live my life to the fullest and not give up. Out of town trips, kicking back and relaxing with friends, doing well in my job, writing and blogging, reaching out to people… No, I will not let the Reality Monster chew me and spit me out. I refuse to.

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