Raise your hand if you think being an adult sucks? I remember when I was a kid I couldn’t wait to grow up. I would look at my older family members and wish that I could dress like them, stay up late, and feel independent. I have one memory of sitting with my cousin who was babysitting me at her house. I must have been eight years old and I was telling her that I couldn’t wait to grow up and make all the independent decisions I wanted. She told me that I should enjoy be a kid for as long as possible. She said being an adult wasn’t all it was chalked out to be and boy was she right! I wish I believed her at the time.
There’s obviously so much more to being an adult than the option to stay up past your bedtime. Sometimes, I actually wish I had my old 8:30pm bedtime. Becoming an adult makes you see the world through a whole different lens. Although I haven’t been an adult for very long, I have learned a few things over the years that I would like to share with you.
I am not a night owl or an early bird. I am some form of permanently exhausted pigeon.
No one will force you to do anything. As a kid you have so many people dictating your life from what you wear to what you eat to how you speak. Once you become an adult, you are on your own. Everyone is so busy trying to figure themselves out that they don’t have time to worry about helping to get you to where you need to be. In fact, most people won’t even know how to help you. They may provide some words of encouragement or share past experiences that might be useful to your situation but they will not do the work for you. Being an adult means learning how to be emotionally and mentally independent. It is a different level of maturity that requires an understanding that you are your number one competition or number one champion.
You have to learn how to follow your own intuition. One of the major skills we are constantly testing as adults are our decision making skills. Should I take this job? Should I buy this house? Should I get married and to who? Should I have kids? What should I do with my money? There are so many things to juggle and so many ripple effects to consider. When making decisions you have to consider how one will impact the other. Following your intuition and doing what is right for you is only way you are going to learn to understand your needs versus wants as well as who you are as a person. Through the consequences of your decisions you will learn how to make better one over time.
Life is a journey and everyone has their own path. Life is full of ups and downs but every journey is individualized. If you are lucky you will find people on a similar path as you. However, it is important to understand that not everyone who starts a journey with you will end the journey with you, and that is ok. As adults we have to practice detachment and surrendering. Life will continue to happen to us and throw us many curveballs and trying to maintain control will only drive you to insanity. It is ok to change friend groups, it is ok to start a new career, it is ok to move to a new city, and it is ok to take a break. The friends we have in our childhood will not necessarily grow with us. Our interests and goals will change and in order for us to grow into the people we want to become we must surround ourselves with people that we can emulate. People we can learn from. Not only that, it is important to have a network of people in your life to fall back on in hard times. Leverage your resources. If you lose your job or want to move in a different direction you should have a network of people that you can contact to help you reach your goals.
Time is a valuable and non renewable resource. This ties back to the job, friends, and activities. Don’t do things just to pass the time do them with purpose. How you use your time will dictate the quality and happiness of your life. Make life happen by using your time wisely. Don’t waste it because the older you get the less time and freedom you have to do all things you wished you could do. Sometimes I look back on my college years, and although I had an amazing time, I wished I would have taken advantage of all the extracurricular activities during breaks. Now that I am an adult, I have bills, family obligations, and general responsibilities that make me think twice maybe three times before I make any changes. Nonetheless, as an adult I’ve also learned the importance of time and happiness and have made a conscious decision to be more purposeful in how I spend my time and with whom.
“How did it get so late so soon?” ― Dr. Seuss
Talk to yourself, listen to yourself. If you are unhappy in your current situation have a real and honest conversation with yourself first and weigh out your options. If you are unhappy at your job, in your relationships, your career choice, or anything else take some time to strategize how you can make things better for yourself and then create small goals in order to achieve them. The worst betrayal is betraying yourself because you knew better. You knew you were not happy and you let yourself stay there perhaps because you were afraid of change, what others would say, or how it would impact the people you love. However, some of the greatest pain you can inflict on others is the pain they see you going through. Love and protect yourself, always.
No matter how far you have gone in any direction you can always turn around.
You are here because you matter. I know that for many going l through life is harder than for others but you are alive because you are an important person. Know that any person’s opinion of you is just an opinion that has no meaning unless you give it the power and meaning over you. If somebody says you are not good enough then let it be and find a crowd that does appreciate your value. There are billions of people on this planet, you do not have to put all of your attention on a select few. These same people will not help you get where you want to go in life. It’s like putting gas in a car that has no wheels. Why would you do that?
Be kind to yourself and do things that make you happy. Stop thinking about what can go wrong and focus on the things that could go right. Being an adult is not easy but we have the power to make our lives as successful as we want it to be.
“Hurt people, hurt people”
How has being adult been for you? Leave a comment below and share your experiences and lessons learned!