Seriously. You can graduate college on Monday and continue excessive partying and shirking adult responsibilities on Tuesday. And years after that. Until the tiny little pressures of the "real world" push you where they want you to go.
You can get a job somewhere, anywhere - waiting tables or in the professional world - and never have to confront the anxiety and fear that crops up when you think about some far away dream.
It could be anything: travel, living in a particular place, starting a family, writing that novel...literally anything. The thing about dreams is that they are limitless and resist compromise. They belong wholly to yourself and don't depend on others.
But that type of freedom can be terrifying at first. That's why I think I gravitate towards rules and guidelines; they help me focus and stay on track. I can safely avoid the discomfort of scary thoughts and risky choices.
I'll have graduated from college a year ago next month. It made me stop and think: how have I changed? Was it for the better? Have I made the choices to go in a certain direction, or did I only respond to the pressure?
I'm not sure, but I'm starting to hear the gentle undertones of something more being spoken under gilded words and stern reprobations. I'm learning what needs to be said in the right situations and what to avoid. It's getting easier to play the game.
And I don't know if that's what maturing feels like, or if it's just dishonesty.