An adult ticket please…

Someone said to me this week, that I was getting better at the whole ‘adulting’ thing. It was a sarcastic remark, relating to my out-dated fear of plane travel, yet it made me think about the whole concept of ‘adulting’ and what it really is. When we’re kids, we can’t wait to grow up and be able to do all the things that adults do, whilst remaining oblivious to the responsibilities and pressure it brings with it. An innocent and naive wish, filled with blurry dreams of travel, alcohol, parties, non-existent curfews and self government.

We hit the late teens/early twenties and it seems that it’s all roses, just doing whatever we want, and then by the time you start getting bills and paying rent, the whole sheen starts to dull. We realise that to play, you must first work, and quite often the obligations must be fulfilled before the pleasures. We start worrying more about social etiquette, and what the right and wrong things are. We are forced to become polite and diplomatic in many situations, and sacrifice things we really want for many different reasons.

But when it comes down to it, a lot of the things we see as pressure and crisis, are situations we have caused, or brought upon ourselves. Not to say that outside influence doesn’t play a role…sometimes shit just happens…it’s just that our reaction and actions in response to things, are what can make the bigger difference. If we remained calmer and stopped over-thinking so much, it could have a different outcome. If we stopped worrying about every possible consequence it would probably have a similar effect.

I aways say that ‘Life is simple, but people make it complicated’, and I really believe that. We don’t always prioritise the things we want, and the things we need, properly, ultimately creating confusion and stress for ourselves. We place a decent amount of over-importance on things we believe should be, and less on the things that really are. We put ourselves in situations that force or restrict our hand, and corner us into places we don’t want to be. But if we just took a step back and looked on it with simpler views, perhaps some of that pressure/stress might just melt away.

Prioritising things that matter now, things that always did, never really did, and things that still will in time, seems to be a good starting point. Things we can and can’t change, or overcome, and things we have to deal with as they are, slides into second. Things that we really want, and those that will help us get what we want.

More than all of that, adulting is about coming to the realisation that we are all just here for ourselves. It is all about you. It means we shouldn’t have to explain ourselves to anyone, to make excuses, or simply do what we’re told. That there will always be a really shit time, which will be the hardest thing you’ve ever felt, but it can pass or get easier to bear…if you can just hold on.
That we can have as many secrets as we want, and if people don’t like it, or you, they can go back to their own lives and get on with them. It’s about realising what is most important to you, and acting accordingly. It’s about not walking on eggshells around someone, or doing things simply to placate or please them, if you just don’t want to. It’s about being where you want, when you want, with who you want. It’s about allowing yourself to have fun, and let go when you need to. It’s about not having to get approval for anything you do, or judging others for their decisions (unless that decision is to wear white pants). It’s about being honest with yourself, and admitting who you are, and what you really want.

It’s about loving and protecting what’s important to you, and having the courage to do so. It’s about having the patience and persistence to see goals and dreams come to fruition. It can be about making plans, cancelling plans, or even changing plans. It’s about doing *some* things you don’t enjoy, but only for a greater self fulfilling purpose. It’s about honouring your word, to yourself and others. It’s about not being steadfast where you don’t need to be, and accepting good things that come your way with open arms. It’s about something totally different for every single person. There is no right or wrong way to ‘adult’. It really IS about you.

Have a plan Kids, or don’t. Figure out what really matters. And always stick to rule#32…
Cheers
V

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Let them eat cake.

images-6Today I did an incredibly adult thing. Probably the most significantly adulty thing of all things. I had chocolate cake for breakfast! It was fabulous.
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Now, I hear you say (with less than the respect in your tone, than should be given for the aforementioned action) how can this be an ultimate act of adulting? Well, I’m glad you asked. Here it is…

When we’re young, we can’t wait to ‘grow up’, to be adults, and be ‘allowed’ to do all the things that adults can do. We ponder having the ability to be in charge of ourselves, and to set our own rules. We abhor being told what to do, and the confines of childhood, parents and protectiveness. We endure going to school, learning, being educated, and being taught (and no, they’re not all just synonyms).
As kids, we try and get away with adult actions, or try to secretly fulfill our fantasies of what it will be like, when we can walk in heels, earn money, wear make-up, have sex, drive cars, drink alcohol, or elegantly puff on that long-stemmed cigarette like Audrey.

Adults say things like “Enjoy your childhood, while it lasts” and “School are the best days of your life”. Little do we realise that they are speaking from experience. That the days of being footloose and bill-free are limited, and soon enough, we will know why they say it. That the days of roaming the streets, sleepovers, unlimited parties and hanging out with your friends each day, come to an end.
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When it all does start to happen, we realise, that the glamour wears off very quickly.
Earning money means getting a job, which means sacrificing time with friends, or weekends, or other things that enhance the quality of your life. Yet the vicious circle, is that without the job/money, we can’t afford the time.
Jobs also mean being re-educated, more learning and being taught.
Driving a car, means maintaining it, paying registration, fuelling it and keeping it clean.
Wearing make-up, means more learning, allergies, colour-matching, and more money.
Walking in heels, yet more learning, discomfort and for some (much like watching a calf try to walk for the first time) admitting that you really can’t do everything.
Smoking means more money, and being aware of the health and social effects.
Sex means more learning, being responsible, realising that it involves emotion (and not just yours), and while it can be amazing…if you’re not careful, it can also get you into more trouble than you can imagine.
images-7And those things are really only the added items on the ice-berg tip of adulting. Let’s not even delve into paying for the staples like rent, mortgages, food, pets, everyday items, replacements, insurance, phones, internet and electricity.
All the ‘things’ that you never really accounted for when fantasising about ‘growing up’, because you weren’t even really aware that they existed in child-land.

You start to wonder why the fuck you ever wanted to be an adult in the first place-ever?! It seems like it’s just an endless stream of responsibilities and bills and adult rules. You didn’t sign up for this shit??! Where is the dream?? The freedom…
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And this, my friends…is why you should eat chocolate cake for breakfast. Because…you can. Because as an adult, there are things we can do, that hurt nobody, aren’t policed, and are well within our means to do. We can eat cake.
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We can set our own bedtime. We can go for long drives, and play loud music. We can take time to roll on the floor with our dogs, and run through the house. We can jump on the bed. We can watch old movies all night. We can go out for cool night walks, and talk on the phone at 2am. We can have picnic parties on the lounge room floor, and wash the dishes ‘tomorrow’. We can drink a bottle of whiskey and smoke cigarettes. We can get tattoos and piercings. We can wear whatever we want. We can sit on the beach, watching the waves roll in, until all you can see is a sliver of moon on the water, and so much more. And we can eat cake.
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We all too often lose sight of the freedoms and luxuries we actually do have, beyond all the responsibilities in full view. It is easy to forget we even have them. The little things.
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I’m not saying that cake can solve all of your problems, or even when exactly it is consumed, that will help. It is more the symbolism behiiiiind the cake. Whether you are miserably unhappy, or your days are full of love, breakfast cake can just remind you that not all is lost. That you can still make choices. That being an adult has its benefits, however small. That if you choose to eat cake…nobody in the world can stop you, even from doing just that one little thing. And if you look hard enough…you might find other things that follow.
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So Kids…mine was Belgian white chocolate…what’s your flavour?
Cheers
V