Why it’s OK to not have your shit together

Not having shit together

When I remember back to when I was 15, I thought by my age I’d be a proper adult. I thought I’d be in a long term relationship, not far off marriage and planning kids in the next few years. I thought I’d have finished university, gone on to do incredible things and changed the world.

LOL 15 year old Lizi was clueless. Also, she skipped out the bit in-between GCSEs and world domination in this little life plan and seemed to expect it to happen overnight. Sigh.

It turns out that massive life changes like going to university, landing your first job or moving into your own little home don't actually qualify you to feel like a real grown up. Who knew? Don’t get me wrong, the shitty adult bits like buying lightbulbs (harder to buy than they are to change apparently) and paying council tax fall into place pretty fast but actually keeping things together? Nope.

At the age of 23 (almost 24, it’s my birthday next month, YAY!), I’ve finally come to realise that actually, not feeling entirely adult-y is fine. It’s actually OK to not feel like you’re owning it 100% of the time. Not every day comes with that ‘yep, I’m surviving life by myself pretty damn well’ feeling. Sometimes (usually when I’ve gone and actually bought the right type of lightbulbs), I feel like I can do the grown up thing, other times, I feel like I need someone to wrap me in a blanket and read Harry Potter to me.

And I know I’m not the only one. The more adults I meet, the more I realise that actually, everyone is quite simply winging it and hoping for the best.

I’ve come to associate being ‘mature’ and ‘grown up’ with being organised and in control. I put it down to when I was in school and university when turning up to all of your lessons, coursework in hand, gained you respect and trust from adults. It’s so heavily ingrained into me that now that when I forget things or make a mistake, it makes me feel like I’m not in control of my life. What other people would just brush off, I have a tendency to exaggerate in my head. In these minor situations which others would simply dismiss, I become the dictionary definition of ‘well that escalated quickly’.

Sometimes, I just don’t feel all that together. Occasionally, because of this, feel like I can’t quite keep my head above water.

And this is something that needs sharing as I’m pretty sure I can’t be the only 23 year old woman who feels a bit isolated and like they haven’t quite got their shit together. Much like how back in December I wrote about having the winter blues, I feel like if I’m going to have a blog, it has to be honest. It would be false if people read each post and thought my entire life was eating out, dating and the rest of the fun stuff. I feel like I owe it to every person who reads what I write to be true to myself, even when it's not all the LOLs.

For me, this kind of thing hits me when I’m caught off guard. As with most little mistakes, like forgetting to pick something up from the shop, you’ll only notice when you need it or when it's important. It’s the kind of situation where you only have yourself to blame for your own inconvenience and the consequences are on you, no matter how minor. It can set you in a bad mood, it can make you put yourself down.

And you know what? I think this kind of thing is OK. It’s OK as long as for the 9 times you make a mistake and dwell on it, there are 10 times that you bring yourself back up again.

I wanted to share this post as I want other people who get themselves into a similar state know that they're not the only one. Just because you might be legally an ‘adult’, living away from your parents and looking after yourself, doesn’t mean that you’ll have it together all the time, no matter how hard you try. It’s just not possible. What I need to learn is to take a step back and tell myself to draw a line under that feeling of ‘for fuck’s sake Lizi’ and just move away from it.

It was actually my Weightwatchers consultant, Angela, who pointed out to our group last weekend that we’re all so hard on ourselves when something goes wrong yet if it was a loved one who was feeling that way, we’d be the first to try and make them feel better - so why shouldn’t we do that to ourselves? She’s right. It’s time to accept that as long as you’ve got the important things down like health and happiness, everything else can fall into place around it and those little things don’t need to matter so much after all.

1 comment

  1. THANK YOU for this post. It's in capitals, because it was EXACTLY what I needed to hear this week. I agree with you - being a grown up is being organised and in control for me too. This week has been so crazily busy, I've slipped up a few times, and have berated myself for it when people tell me not to worry and just go with the flow. It's nice to know someone feels the same.

    Your posts are always fabulous.

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