1. Traveling isn’t so bad.
I remember dreading a plane ride on my own because I was worried I couldn’t sleep for the entire 14 hours. I wouldn’t raise my hand to get water either because I didn’t want to seem rude. (WHO gives you only ONE half filled glass of water anyway?!) Now? I walk down the aisle to ask them to fill up my bottle and feel happily hydrated the whole journey. I also learned about the beauty of moisturizer, and yes, I am that gerbil who likes to bring her own blankets and pillow and hovers around her carry-on luggage to make sure her nest is nice and fluffed up. Then, I pop a pill and sleep soundly for most of the trip. It isn’t so bad. Unless it’s a turbulent flight — then hands raised and trying to find signal on my phone begin. (Maturity works in certain situations, mind you.)
2. You’re less confrontational.
Yep. Let things go. Even if you’re turning blue and that person has completely pissed you off — you bite your tongue and let it go. And yes, that includes them trying to get up in your face and start a fight. After you grumble, mumble and huff over it — you will get over it. And, at least that way when you do cross paths with this person again, you won’t feel that awkward “oh shit, I shouldn’t have called her a slutty whore…” Sure, it is a little fake, but a slight smile and a polite nod won’t kill you. Life’s too big to let someone turn you into a monster. You can seethe all you want, but being the better person does feel much more fulfilling in the long run. If someone doesn’t add to building your character, don’t allow them to break your stride towards being a better person.
3. Faking a smile at work.
Wiping that smirk off your bosses face might replay in your mind every time you see him, but walking in looking defeated and irritable doesn’t make you the victor, it makes you the loser. Can you imagine how much more annoying it must be that you walk into work everyday with a big sparkling smile? If your boss intends to make your life miserable, using a little reverse psychology can help. It will also help you. You might think, “How can I smile when I hate my job?” Well, it’s simple: when you smile, it automatically makes you feel better. Being optimistic is tough, but if you take pride in yourself and your work — it will reflect not only on your professional career, but your life too. And, if you’re in the middle of looking to quit and find a new job — you’ll always have a good reference, or an even better fuck you moment when you move since you’ve been nothing but pleasant.
If you’ve lived somewhere for much too long and you start to know the people who sell you underwear by their first name — um, it’s time to move. Moving is probably the biggest sign of maturity. Moving to a new place is a risk that surpasses so many levels. Whether that be moving to a new country, city, or just moving into your own space — growth and adventure are sure to follow. It’s scary, certainly, but if you start looking at it as a voyage, you’ll also begin to understand how much happier you are with each step you take forward. Moving creates a holistic growth — because even if you do have a spouse or partner in the endeavor, there will always be moments of discovery that you will experience on a personal level. Driving in a new city always excites and scares me — but it’s what I find as my checkpoint of where I am in life.
5. You stop yelling.
Increasing your volume doesn’t make your opinion any more important. I used to remember the common notion that if you don’t fight, you aren’t in a good relationship. As I’ve grown older, I realize growing up means you talk things out versus throwing a hissy fit. Being able to talk calmly and communicate your thoughts clearly are huge signs of maturity. Or, avoiding a fight all together means you’ve really come along. You’ll also find out quickly that it has to work both ways — so this comes to my next point:
6. You choose wisely.
We wonder why we never find the right “one” — it’s as simple as the fact that you are wrong for the right one. One or both of you haven’t matured, and until you both are ready, a good and long-lasting relationship just can’t happen yet. Understanding yourself first, what your triggers are and most of all, your ability to apply self-control are needed before you embark on a committed union. When you are able to see past petty things, you’ll start to be less petty too. So, take a look in the mirror and start to see where you are right now — and if you’re smiling, well, watch Prince or Princess Charming walk through that door.
7. You dream.
Dreaming is believing, and as age grows so does our doubt. You forget that being young doesn’t mean you’re any less grown up than you are now. Don’t you realize that it’s when you stopped dreaming that things started to go downhill? You thought you thwarted disaster because you started to be realistic. You settled for that deadpan job because you had to grow up. Wrong. You settled for that deadpan job because you gave up. You turned your back on your hopes because you lowered your expectations of yourself, and what’s worse than shooting for the stars? It’s lowering your standards and actually attaining them. Things are meant to look difficult and impossible because we’re human — and although we are flawed, we tend to make mistakes — we also have the ability to be great. We’re all unique and given talents that separate us from the rest of the herd. Start to dream again, and you’ll find that passion always leads you to success. How can you be the best at something without loving it? Be patient, happiness is a well-rounded achievement.