Why It's Okay To Be A Hot Mess

by Julia Cranska

Picture your typical Wednesday morning. You swear to your professor that you did your homework, but you left it on a table at the Starbucks four blocks away. You legitimately did the assignment; you just happened to have started this morning -- a half hour before class -- as you downed two espresso shots while still sporting your beer- and pizza-stained ASOS top from the night before.

You’re a hot mess. You are made up of good intentions, a million commitments and a few poor decisions here and there. Your bloodshot eyes are coated with smudges from the eyeliner you slept in, but they still view the world as your oyster, leading you to pursue living life to its fullest (which sometimes entails you spreading yourself too thin).

For some reason, you feel like you wake up at rock bottom every Sunday morning, and you swear you left your room looking way better than the past weekend's Instagram pictures portray. Each week is a continuous effort to pick up your life’s pieces in hopes that you can get it back to a few levels above rock bottom before the next weekend starts.

It's generous to say that life's a little messy. To clarify, there’s a difference between being a hot mess and a train wreck. You haven't run off the tracks completely, but you may have recently been juggling a young adult lifestyle that's gotten a bit out of hand. Not to worry, though; messes can be cleaned up.

Growing past this phase is one part recognizing your new adult responsibilities and one part letting the chips fall where they may. It’s normal to have your quarter-life crisis at a time where the realms of work, school, relationships and your social life aren't meeting cookie-cutter standards. Here's why:

You’re trying to do everything at once.

You’re trying to please everyone, and you've probably got a million things going on. Ever tried cooking dinner for 50-plus people? Life's kind of like that right now: The kitchen will be inevitably messy and you will probably burn something.

You don’t have time to worry about the future when you're too clueless about the present.

There is a lot of uncertainty at this time in your life. How are you supposed to know what you want to be when you grow up when the demand to grow up seems to be right around the corner?

Balancing fun and real life is getting harder.

What freedom it was to go off to college, to be able to drink five nights a week and still make it to your general freshman courses. Now you’re getting older and even your priorities are maturing. Sitting hungover at your major-declaring appointment or job interview isn’t as cute or easy as it once was.

Human relationships are stressful.

You're trying to balance friends, family and professional relationships. Your iPhone and all forms of social media seem to be giving you never-ending notifications. Did I respond to that text? Did I call my parents back? I need to untag myself from that photo ASAP. 

It's pretty exhausting to get yourself together when you're worrying about keeping up with everyone else. Hey, hot mess, you’re not a bad person and you're not an irresponsible person. Anyone would crack under this kind of whirlwind that is an encroaching sense of adulthood and responsibility.

Escaping the hot mess phase comes a lot with aging, so take those baby steps in your six-inch heels and embrace the runs in your stockings. You'll soon learn that you are not defined by poor decisions and hangovers, and what a beautiful and messy learning experience life can truly be.

Photo via We Heart It