Commentary

Harry Styles makes me feel it’s not bad to be an adult

Questions in my ‘quarter-life crisis’

The author at Harry Styles concert

My current mental state makes me feel like age is a ticking time bomb. It counts down the years until I am no longer capable of doing certain tasks. When people work, there are some employers who mind their employee’s age. When the employees are young, the working world seems to exploit them for their vigor. They are wrung and squeezed of everything they have, like wet laundry.

This description is how I generally view my age group, but for me, it’s a different journey.

From grade school up to high school, I felt older than my classmates, yet I was only a year older than they. When I got to college and to further studies, I learned not to mind my age. The funny part is, people mistake me for being younger than my actual age. I think it was my baby face or childlike aura and personality.

When the pandemic began, I went back to living with my family. Time stood still, and people my age said that years of our lives were stolen. But it was also a time when I felt that I was revisiting my younger years. When I looked at my bedroom, I saw things that belonged to a teenage girl. During the latter part of the pandemic, I slowly filled that room with things belonging to a current version of myself.

Eventually, everything began to go back to normal; my sisters were not at home and they lived their own lives. I realized I needed to live my own life, as well. For years, I’ve been so focused on doing a great job for my family that I forgot it was my life.

I’ve come so far, I’m talented, I’m worthy of my own love, and I’m an adult

Now, I find myself facing the reality of my own life. I realized a few things: I’ve come so far, I’m talented, I’m worthy of my own love, and I’m an adult. Realizing I’m an adult hit me a bit hard. I told myself that I need to take responsibility for my decisions, I need to pay for things, and I need to be myself.

One person who made me realize it’s not bad to be an adult is Harry Styles. It’s so funny in my mind, but it’s true. He’s my age, and he knows he’s not young anymore. But he just enjoys the moment. He is himself. He lives his life, and wants others to do the same.

Aside from Harry, there are other people who make me feel like we’ve grown so much. When I see my classmates, I feel like we’re actual adults, yet we still feel the same comfort we felt when we were in high school.

Another group of people who make me feel older are my parents and my aunt. When I see them, I realize we are all ageing. When I was young, they were a strong force for me. They could do anything for the family and for me. Now, I see that they limit some of their activities so that they can do more or be in optimal health. When I think of them being older, I feel that now my sisters, my cousins, and I are kind of taking on their roles as adults. We are supposedly responsible for taking care of the family. But they try not to pressure us. Sometimes they still call us “yung mga bata.”

But being an adult and having my own life bring me some anxiety and fear. Spending time with family and friends calms these fears down. Recently, I don’t feel like I’m the only one responsible for everyone’s happiness and safety anymore. I hope there comes a time when I can calm my own anxieties and fears without relying on others. In my mind, they cannot constantly be there. They need to live their own lives, and so do I.

When I feel bad about something, sometimes people younger than I try to understand, to be open, and say that what I’m doing is okay. People older than I try to look back on their lives so that they can guide me. But people my age make me realize I’m not alone in these hardships, and it’s part of being an adult or growing up. Is it still considered growing up? Or is it growing older? But being with different age groups is an experience, and at times can be fun.

What does it mean to be an adult? I don’t know. I don’t want to make a stereotypical list. In my mind, I don’t want to force anything. I just accept whatever comes my way. I’m in my late 20s, and my sister says I am bondying-bondyingan. But I also know I am still very responsible and I accept things that are difficult for others—not just for people my age, but for anyone. In my mind, I am not changing my life, I’m just continuing my journey. Now, I have the courage to do things I’ve always wanted to do. I am still figuring out who I am. But I do know I am enjoying what I’m doing and I’m happy.

About author

Articles

Mica describes herself: “I am a straightforward person who also can be a perfectionist. But I know there are limitations. And one thing I declared to myself is to live my life as if it was art. It sounds cheesy but true. I grew up in Rizal, and I believe that it built my character and exposed me to a lot of Filipino values and beliefs. I went to college at DLSU-Manila and took a degree in Political Science. There are times I feel like a nomad because, ever since college, I’ve been staying in different places to be closer to studies or work. I’m a nerd and I find that cool. I believe in the power of learning, and I see myself as the result of years of education. Good and bad. I expose myself to a lot of experiences. I have exposed myself to topics related to art, politics, literature, religion, history, medicine, etc. Consistently, I like to do a lot of things. I get bored easily so I keep myself busy. I have to say that I love art. It is home for me. When things get rough, I always find myself drawn to it, and see it as a way home. But I have to say writing has been my dream. These days it has become my way back to myself, and a path to my peace of mind. I have no formal training, but whatever I do, I believe it develops good content. I want to write things that matter, and I believe I do.

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