I turned 24 on Monday and I hated it. For the first time in a long while, I actually felt my age. I felt older, like the many responsibilities of being an adult were hitting me harder than ever before. When a friend of mine joked that I was turning 17, I genuinely wished I could turn back time and be a teenager all over again, but time can only move forwards in this life.
Now it’s not that I hate being an adult because I don’t want to have to deal with responsibilities – it’s just that life gets tougher, more demanding and a lot more real. The future continues to draw nearer and plans for your life seem to become more urgent, as the days run away from you; it seems that you’re running out of time, despite being relatively young.
Three years ago, my life plan completely changed after I made the decision to drop out of university, meaning that I’m not currently where I thought I would be or should be in regards to my career. Instead, I’m on a different path, which I believe is God’s plan for my life, but it’s happening at a slower pace than I would like.
Although I keep on reminding myself that I’ve achieved and grown a whole lot in the past few years through the various actions I’ve taken, I still feel that it’s not enough. I don’t feel that I’m doing enough to change my community, make changes in my country, eventually change the world. Couple that with not having a job that pays enough for me to buy my own place, I end up feeling frustrated and sad, like I’m failing in some ways.
Then there’s the matters of the heart, the constant issue of love that leaves me impatient, despondent, jealous and in tears, over and over again. I’m 24 now, with no boyfriend and no boyfriend on the horizon, which is depressing, because I always wanted to be married by 25 at the latest. There is no chance of that happening now.
For me, love is cruel, breaking my heart or simply not working out, for one reason or another. The cruelty of love punched me in the face on my birthday, as it fully hit me that there was no chance of finding the one in the time frame I wanted. It felt like the window was closing as I grew older, time quickly getting away from me.
As I write this I can see that time is a constant thread throughout. The thought of time getting away from me is causing me distress, especially as this world continues to show me that life is short. I want to achieve as much as I can, give as much as I can, feel as much as I can. I want to impact the lives of young people, I want to have an organisation of my own, I want to experience real, beautiful love that will actually be reciprocated. I want to feel happy in my age, not fearful and anxious.
Following on from my birthday has been a struggle, as I’ve found myself wrestling with questions and dealing with conflicts of the heart throughout the remainder of the week. Not knowing what to do or how I feel, I’ve worked myself into a state of panic that I’m struggling to come back from. Effecting my health and my emotions, my head hurts, my chest feels strange and I can’t hold back the tears that are flowing for reasons unknown to me.
I don’t think I’ve ever hated a birthday or an age like I’ve hated 24, which comes as a surprise to me – I expected to simply feel indifference, not complete disdain. However, the fact is I’m still here and I want to be thankful for my life, because there are two beautiful people I love very much who aren’t here anymore and I wish that they still had a life to live. I just need to take every day as it comes and trust in God, because He’s got my back and His timing is perfect, in spite of how much I may want to rush Him.