I am 27 years old. Clearly, at this point in my life, I truly am an adult by society’s standards. However, when the adulting hits hard, it really smacks you square in the face.
Many people think adulting is a 9-to-5 job, bills on bills on bills, marriage, having your shit together and a family of your own. Sure, it’s some of those things. Maybe for you or someone you know, it’s all of those things, but maybe it’s none of them.
I have lived on my own for seven years now. This has made me feel like an adult for a while and I am damn proud of that, to be honest. I’ve done the whole paying my own bills thing and having life happen, but the rest of those stereotypes of being an adult aren’t on my radar at the moment. The marriage, the 9- to-5 job, the having my shit together… yeah, not exactly those.
I think the big thing, though, is everyone thinks adulting is buying your own underwear and socks (like, who wants to do that). It’s getting excited about getting dishware for Christmas and a Costco gift card for your birthday. It’s going to bed by 9 and never going out with your friends. It’s being uncool and laughing at dad jokes.
This is what people don’t tell you about adulting …
1. No one actually knows what they are doing.
It’s the truth. When you’re young, you think adults are doing what they are going to be doing for the rest of their life. You think they are happy doing what they are doing. Truth is, everything is constantly changing. Everyone is constantly pivoting and asking themselves questions about what’s next and if they really want to be doing what they are doing. My advice: go with the flow and follow you mind, heart, or gut, whichever is strongest.
2. Everyone is going through shit.
Literally everyone is going through something. Big or small. Life doesn’t discriminate. No one is safe from hurt, heartbreak, or reality. No one is luckier than the other. No one has an “easy” life, whatever that even means. Next time you think you’re the center of the earth and your world is crashing down on you, remember the person next to you in line at the coffee shop is probably feeling the same exact way.
3. It doesn’t get easier.
Again, because everyone is going through their own shit, it makes it really hard for things to get easier. The thing is, you just become more prepared. You learn how to be resilient and cope better. You start to learn that that’s when you grow the most and when you find your deepest purpose.
4. It’s fun.
Like reaaaally fun. It’s not what you think when you’re a bratty teen. Adulthood is truly the best time in your life, so go live it up. Go be a little reckless. Being an adult is being independent. It’s doing what you want, when you want. Can I get an amen? You don’t have to ask permission, and the only one who burdens any sort of consequences is you. Own the fun; do all the things.
5. People are still immature.
It doesn’t matter if you’re in high school or you’re an adult, because people in their 20s, 30s, and beyond still can act like a child. My advice: only keep the people around you that build you up. If people make you cringe when you are around them, don’t be around them. If you don’t like the things people post on social media, unfollow them. If someone makes you defend yourself, spend time around people who defend you. This doesn’t mean that these people are bad people, it just means that they aren’t good for you.
6. You’re always looking for something.
Whether it’s your keys, your phone, the next guy you want to marry (or maybe just sleep with), the next diet fad, or your coffee, we’re constantly looking. We are never content. We always want more. If you’re not looking for a new job, you’re looking for you next relationship. It’s what we do, and it’s really hard for us to sit still and just be.
7. It’s never too late.
Even when you think it is. If you want to go to school, go. If you want to quit your job, quit. If you want to pivot, then pivot. We get so comfortable in what we are doing that even when we hate that thing we hate so much, we are constantly telling ourselves that it’s too late for us because the clock’s ticking. No better time than now.
8. You still call your mom for advice.
No matter how old you are, moms always make it better. To this day, I still send my mom pictures of the outfit I’m wearing if I am going to something important. I still call her when I don’t know what to do in relationships or with jobs. Moms rock — keep her and her advice close.
You’re definitely still cool. Adulting is full of surprises. Buckle up, because it is truly the best time of your life.