Adulting. It ain’t no joke. I remember when I was younger just ACHING to be able to eat whatever treat I wanted, when I wanted (cookies alll day) or just hop in the car and go shopping without asking for a ride and just for the general freedom that comes with being a grown up. I always remember my parents laughing and just telling me I don’t know how good I have it.
Boy, were they right. Of course freedom is great and cookies whenever I want are awesome (yet wasted on the young as now I am acutely aware on how bad for you pigging out on only cookies is). As I am in the beginning of the last year of my twenties, I am absolutely aware how much I have grown up and how much I have learned about being an adult and really, it is HARD.
It doesn’t happen over night either. I feel like becoming an adult as been subtle changes over the course of a decade. First it’s learning how to manage your money a bit, go to college, live on your own, live with other people, do your laundry, dabble into cooking. Then you get your first flat tire or your car needs an oil change so you learn to deal with those things. Then your school counselor messed your credits so you have to learn to manage your own scheduling to graduate.
After that it is learning to interview, paying your own rent, getting a job, understanding the 9 to 5 grind. Not to mention a 401k and health insurance become popular topics that you never thought twice about. Tired yet? Well that isn’t even the emotional part of it. Learning your limits with drinking, getting rid of toxic friendships, making new friends, traveling, relationships/love drama, losing a pet/grandparents or loved one… and the list goes on and on and on and I swear sometimes I think I’ll never feel like a full adult and I think that is the key. We just continuously grow and learn (and if you aren’t you may need to reflect bit).
Anyway, I don’t have all the answers. I do have some good advice and if you know me well, you know that I can struggle to follow my own words of wisdom. I for sure don’t handle every scenario with the grace I want to but I’m learning like we all are. It’s a balance to manage who we are and to be authentic and honest while also being adults. (Are you ready to nap yet from all this? Because I am!)
The moral of this rant is that I do have some things to share that help adulting be put into perspective. These are things I actually make a daily effort to do and remember and hopefully when you are feeling a little down on this whole childhood is over gig, read this, pour yourself a glass of wine (one adult perk..ehh?) and watch your favorite Disney movie and know that you can always find a balance…
You can have it all just not at once
I used to read adult novels in my teens and basically think “wtf are they talking about?” but the older I get, it is so clear to me. Say there are 3 things in your life that you find to be most important – relationships, jobs, home. Rarely do all 3 just flow perfectly. It is true you can have the career but likely that will have give a little when you have children. Or naturally life just does that. There was a long period this year where my relationships with my family, friends and boyfriend were just killin’ it and I was so in love with out new home together but work. Work was bleh! This always go in and out in cycles. There are highs and lows and you can experience all the wonderful highs of life but not always do these things go right at the same time. Just accept and appreciate whats good and go with it. You will feel SO much better once you start to live your life with this knowledge. Trust me. This one is key and one of my favorites.
Pick who matters most and prioritize
I know it sounds bitchy but if you can spend time with your grandparents, take that opportunity (trust me! I always did and I am SO happy that I made those choices now that I don’t have them around) and skip out on 5th work happy hour of the month. These are things you need to think about as you grow up. Done are the days of trying to fit in or be cool or popular. Move on from those things and focus on the relationships that are real.
You can’t be at everything, accept the fomo
There is simply not enough time in the day. You can’t make every birthday, wedding, or event that is thrown your way so just breathe and accept the FOMO. (Then secretly curse social media because that’s really what enhances FOMO and what probably stunted out generation’s growth.
Work hard and play hard
It is okay to treat yourself but make sure you earned it. It is good for your personal growth, your career, and the soul. Nothing is better that rewarding yourself when you know you really did a job well done and put your heart and soul into something.
Make your body a priority- mental and physical health
We aren’t guaranteed a single thing. We don’t have much without our health so pay attention to your body. Get to know it and what it needs and don’t give into peer pressure. Be comfortable doing you.
Put down that effing screen
Finish this article and then go read, a book (not kindle) or take a bath, or have a conversation with someone you love over wine, or make a homemade dinner. No apps, no phones, no tvs, no computers….make the time for real life.
Plan ahead but enjoy the now
This one is tricky. Planing for your future but living in the moment. The balance will always take effort but just be as mindful as possible. You will go in and out because it is easy to stress about things ahead but never jump too far.
Buck up champ!
There are always worse things in life than the regular responsibilities of adulthood. There are people who had to feel intense loss and adulthood far younger than they should have or are currently experiencing responsibilities beyond some off our comprehension. You can deal! You’re a big girl now babe!