Fake it till you make it they say, but she knew she had all the skills and the talents to get there. Confidence was radiating through her smile as she entered the tall NYC office building. Butterflies punched the insides of her stomach, but the placebo optimism she coached herself into guarded against anything. The ninth floor finally came. She walked down the maze like corridor continuously ignoring the beat down going on in her tummy. The receptionist smiled up at her, casually guiding her to take a seat. She looked at the time. 15 minutes early. Nothing was going to stop her today. Five minutes later, the hiring manager stepped out of his office and gave her a sturdy handshake. She reciprocated one back with fire in her eyes powerfully illuminating how much she wanted this. The hiring manager seemed impressed with the ease and the confidence she gave him as she answered his questions. The shadow of her nerves was an ignored cast in the pit of her stomach from the limitless desire of what she had to have. The world was hers at the end of the interview until he said something she never would have expected. “We’ll keep in touch.” The stab of the words left a wound in her heart as she gradually descended to the first floor. “What did I do wrong?” was all she could think. An elderly woman got on at the fifth floor and looked her up and down. “Shouldn’t you be in school young lady?” she asked glaring at her with daggers in her eyes. “No, I’m 22,” she replied in surprise. The woman’s eyes quickly softened. “Oh, I thought you were just a baby. You look no older than 16.”
Blast this baby looking face. Wouldn’t it be easier to be in the decision making process while you were in your stomach? God doesn’t make mistakes, but sometimes it’s hard to understand what he was doing. If you’re like me, you look young. You can’t turn the corner on your way to work or school without meeting someone and having them gasp in surprise about how young you look.
Face it. You’re going to be this way for some time. You’re going to step into a bar and be carded regardless of if you want a drink or not. You’re going to engage into conversations where the person could be going along with what you’re saying, but in the back of their mind something’s screaming “Why am I talking to a 12-year old?”
It’ll be awesome when you’re older, yes. But now….not so much. It’s hard to be taken seriously when you look like a teeny bopper. Regardless of what you wear or how you present yourself, it’s easier for people to go by what they first see.
You try to take the steps to show the world how awesome of an adult you really are. But then even with this challenge of trying to prove yourself, you’re faced with your own questions.
How do I do this? Who am I? Where am I going? What makes me an adult? What defines an adult?
As a 20 something, you’re still trying to figure out this whole thing called “Life.” Honestly, I don’t think anyone will completely figure it out. But you’re at a point where you’re still trying to put things together.
Your career. Your relationship. You.
It could all be a bit confusing and hard to deal with at times. Especially if you still live with your parents. There could be adult decisions you want to make and somehow they try to find loop holes to continue control over your life. Or they just try to control you cause you still live there. And if you’re unemployed, underemployed or working in a dead end job that’s to be getting you no where, their respect seems to dwindle.
My own father is always lecturing me about life from the time I was a little girl; his own way of trying to prepare me for the world. He likes to remind me of this time when he was telling me something and I asked him to wait till I got older to tell me everything. My father likes to talk and me being a sleepy little girl, I didn’t know any better. Now, I wish I could go back to my six-year old self and tell her to shut up because you’re going to make future me deal with an extra dose of lecturing.
But I understand that my father was just looking out for me and he still continues to to this today. Our parents are just trying to protect us from the cruel world. Yet, sometimes that protection just seems to make us more vulnerable. The best lessons are the ones you learn through experience.
Though it may seem like everyone is looking down on you at times, it’s easy for people to make quick decisions at face value instead of digging deeper. But the effort you put into yourself, your career, your relationships and anything vital to you in this life will help guide people to take you more seriously.
For young looking young people and any twenty-something, you got to work extra hard on you. Take some me time. Go to the beach. Take long walks. Do yoga. Talk to God. Talk to you. Dedicate time to the most important person in your life.
Apply for more jobs. Volunteer. Apply for internships. Do as much as you can to get to that career that you want or that career you’re looking for. But it’s also important to really get a grasp of what you like; trying different things will get you there. The more you do, the more clearer the path to success becomes.
Go on dates. Mingle. Go to parties. Be in a committed relationship. Get married. Have fun, enjoy life and remember that you are young, but you are growing to the best of your potential.
A person could look you in the face and see a teenager or someone who’s just not serious about their life. But it doesn’t matter. The most important factor is whether you take yourself seriously. You know what you’re doing and you know the steps you’re taking to get there counts for a lot. All things happen to those who believe; you become an adult once you take responsibility over your life and own it.