When I turned 13 years old, I was convinced that people past 18 were put together, wholesome, mature adults. To me, they had one foot in the grave — they were so old! Then I turned 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, and realized that I still had the mentality and maturity level of my 13-year-old self. Did the guy in my lecture think I was cute? Do I have a muffin top in these too-skinny jeans? Can people tell the shirt I’m wearing isn’t Comme des Garcons but was on sale because I pulled out a 50% off card from a woman standing with a box of discount cards in front of the Gap? It hit me that there was a child living inside this developed body. But it was okay because everyone still treated me like a kid, right?!
On the day of my twentieth birthday I woke up expecting to be showered with gifts and happy birthday voicemails. Instead, I woke up too early with my alarm going off, telling me to get to my university lectures. When I got there, my professors assigned pages worth of work. I received a call from my mother with a reminder that this year I’d be learning how to do taxes as well as understanding how our finances worked — ‘oh, and happy birthday.’ I felt myself sweating. Were people seeing me as an adult now? But I’m only 13 years old inside!
A few weeks passed, and I buried myself in YouTube videos as I pretended to myself that I’d do my work after just one more video. Then there she was, a YouTuber whose video shone like a beacon of hope through my computer screen. I clutched the sides of my dirty laptop, pulling Arden Rose’s words closer to me. A month later, I ran to Indigo to purchase my very own Almost Adulting book while my boyfriend silently judged me for being in the Teen Reads section.
Needless to say, I read the book in two days. To all the almost adults, here are some of the lessons I took away:
1) It’s okay to not know what the hell you’re doing. No one turns into an adult overnight. Just keep on learning.
2) Being happy and sad at the same time is normal. Some days will be better than others.
3) Mental health is really important and we need to take care of ourselves. It should never be pushed to the side.
4) Tinder is alright for meeting people but you might not find what you’re looking for. Try and use other online platforms to find people! (Except MySpace because who the hell uses MySpace?)
5) Embrace yourself and your sexuality. However cliché it sounds, it’s crucial to understand what you like and don’t like in order to feel fulfilled in life.
For more, check out Arden’s book trailer or just read the damn book!