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…