Dizzying Changes in Your Early Adulthood

I’m 24. I often look back on the person I was just a year or six months ago, and wonder how the hell I got here. Going back more than two or three years is just baffling… I feel like I’ve changed so much since then. Life doesn’t even feel remotely the same, my attitudes and ideas have totally transformed, and I seem to be getting exponentially more responsible and practical the longer I live. It’s hard for me to even believe that I was that person, that I did those things and thought that way.

Now, I know some degree of change is normal, but I’m talking about change that feels incredibly rapid to the point that I barely recognize myself six months ago. And the thing is, it’s nothing new-- it’s been like that for the past 4 or 5 years. I feel like I’ve lived many different lives in that short span of time.

I always assumed it was just some weird property about my personality, but I was talking to my husband about this, and it occurred to me that maybe this is completely normal for people in early adulthood–hell, maybe it’s just typical for adults, period.

So I ask those of you, looking back on your early adulthood (say, 18-25)–do you recall dizzyingly fast changes of personality, life attitude, maturity, etc? Or is this just a basic reality of being alive that doesn’t ever end? God, who will I be at 50? :eek:

(Oh, FWIW, these changes have all been positive, resulting in me liking and respecting myself more. It’s just weird.)

Hmmmm. I guess by your standards, my “early adult hood” happened a couple of years late. :wink:
I was 25 when (and not married) when I had my first daughter. Within two years of her birth, the following happened: My mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer and congestive heart failure and I became her primary caregiver; my now-father-in-law had two heart attacks; my now-husband’s older brother died; I got married (to the baby’s father, in case you were wondering); my mother died.

I’ve often said that if someone came to me and offered me 5M to re-live that year and a half, I wouldn’t do it. But I grew up a lot, and fast. And gained a whole new respect for how strong I really am. I never thought of myself as being strong until after it was all over, and I looked back on it, and couldn’t understand how I had not lost my mind completely.

I’ve always found the interview question “Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?” very amusing. Probably because life has changed for me so drastically every five years. New states, new jobs, new realtionships, all of which have been totally unpredictable. Different situations have led to different roads taken.
So when I hear “Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?” my immediate answer should be “Who the hell knows?”

I totally get this. I also find that every time I am asked this question, I start to care less and less. I could care less where I end up in 5 years (though, you know, I make my little plans.) I’m too wrapped up in my present to think about that.

Which is interesting. When I was depressed, I used to think about the future a lot. (Well, and the past too.) Anything but the godawful present. Now both seem really irrelevant.

I know exactly what you’re talking about. I went through the same changes around this age, though they were mostly due to changes in my friendships with some people. Getting stabbed in the back by someone you thought of as a sister, then having her get her friends to gang up on you and flame you on aim and lj really puts you in perspective. That experience made me grow up faster and lose that naive belief that friends won’t hurt you, even a little.

Looking at myself now and comparing what I see to how I was is rather astonishing. I’m more reserved and cautious about who I trust now. I’m sad that I had to lose that innocence, but it made me mature to a point that is right in my life now. Though it sucked having to go through that experience, it made me who I am, and hopefully the person I have become is better overall than the person that I was.

Don’t worry, changes happen and once they slow down or stop, you’ll be able to catch your breath. Once you get into a rhythm, you’ll start to form your core and slightly evolve as a person from there. It takes time, but you’ll get there. Until then, enjoy the ride, learn from your mistakes and improve yourself as a person.