Officially Grown Up

Yes, aging is real :’)

Athira T J
3 min readMar 8, 2023

Some people argue that one does not ask to be born. I do. That I never wanted to be born at all. But in a very real way, my cells wanted to be born. It seems logical that they wanted to be alive. It’s possible that they could have become anyone or anything, but somehow, they arranged themselves beautifully and complexly into whatever it is I am.

What is the year that people agree you are growing up and then you grow old? I think it is 25. Like everything after 25, you are just growing old. It seems like an arbitrary age. Maybe it has to do with frontal lobe brain development. I don’t know :P

a new born adult
makingshit on Instagram

Wow, at 25 you’re done, it’s already over!

Time gets faster. Or at least it has been my experience; that my perception of time is speeding up. My theory on this is that my experience of time is relative. The experience of being young was modeled on the little time I had, and the whole of my being was based on that. In comparison, I now have 25 years of experience that has built a need for a speedway of experience just to keep things all in at the same time.

I guess what I am saying, not very clearly, is time creeps up on you. I thought I had all the time in the world to live life as my authentic self. I was waiting for a time when life would be stable. That things would be calm. That I could take the time needed to transition. And then things would go from there. Me putting it off was just that I thought I had more time. All the time in the world!

You can always earn more money or work more in the future. But time is something you can’t get back once it’s lost. Years will pass in the blink of an eye.

I’m just barely getting started.

I thought the world of work was all about being strategic, that a good degree and hard work would make me invincible. I was enthusiastic about establishing myself as a diligent and hardworking adult. I became swept up in the common notion that I should feed my youth to the grindstone of corporate culture, sacrificing weekends, evenings, and mental health at the altar of productivity. I forgot that I’m just a replaceable worker bee whose position would be filled up by tomorrow if they wanted. They were out to make money, with or without me.

No job is worth sacrificing my peace of mind. As I depart from my current company, I’m learning that it’s completely fine and acceptable to not want to go the corporate route. This’s a perfect time to explore alternatives.

The time is now.

In our early twenties, we often feel the overwhelming sense of limitless possibilities, where we have the freedom to become whoever we desire. And that “there is only one path” one should take in life. I wonder how things would have turned out, had I taken different actions. Maybe I would’ve mastered other skills upon graduating than spending so much time mourning broken relationships. Maybe, had I dared to switch jobs, I’ll never know.

“If it lights you up, just do it & throw away the logics.”

― Hiral Nagda

Yes, I messed up a big time. I’ll mess up again. But all I can do in between then and now is try my best, just like everyone else. Forgiveness is hard to extend, but I’m going to try.

It’s amazing how I never stopped reading books when I graduated from college. I like to stay in bed and read books all day. But personal growth isn’t just books and courses — sometimes it’s taking a trip, betting on myself, improving my mental and physical health, learning new skills and hobbies, or just trying something different.

I like to think I’ve learned it now.