1. You pay your bills on time. It’s not exciting to pay your bills. It’s not exciting getting down that credit card debt, or that school loan, or that car payment. It’s not appealing to say “no” to things like Amazon Prime Day and a variety of summer sales and instead, pay for your groceries. It’s not exciting or glamorous to do these things – but it is responsible. It is the mark of someone who has crossed the threshold of adulthood. It is something to be proud of, too.
2. You have food in your fridge. Maybe this seems silly to you, but knowing that you’re not going to struggle to put food in your belly is both a gift and a blessing. Many people on this earth cannot say that – so you better appreciate that fridge full of food. Celebrate it, too.
3. You’d rather be alone than settle for a relationship that is, “eh.” Your relationship should bring out the best in you. It should feel like home and your most excellent adventure all in one. It should make you want to declare your love from rooftops and on sidewalks, and give you the grace that you have always given others. In a world where we are continually seeing how people are matched and paired up, where men and women are waiting for their red rose – it’s a sign of maturity and bravery to decide to stay single until you meet the love that’s right for you.
4. You don’t keep your phone out on the table when you’re sharing a meal with your loved ones. In our modern times, we can constantly be “plugged in” – and in doing so, we’re no longer present for the world around us. We miss little jokes and smiles and laughter. We miss out on stories, and we aren’t genuinely connecting with the ones we love, because part of our attention is always on that little screen. When you keep that phone tucked away in your pocket or your purse, you’re telling the ones that ’you’re sharing a meal with that you’re fully and completely present.
5. You are different human than you were five, ten, fifteen years go. We’re meant to change and grow, and learn, and evolve. That’s how we know we’re living. That’s how we know we’re bringing out best selves to the world and those around us.
6. You are continually evaluating your priorities. There are only twenty-four hours in the day, and yet, as we age, there are more than twenty-four things that will demand our time and attention — making a habit out of evaluating how you spend your time and energy will allow you to dig deeper into your work, your self, your family, your friends, and what you want to achieve in this life that you’re living.
7. You are aware of your efficiency during the day. You notice when you’re not working enough and wasting precious moments on social media or Netflix. You are aware of your routines and your habits, and make it a practice to reflect on them daily.
8. You have a job – even though it’s one you don’t love. Sometimes, we don’t love our jobs – but we don’t know what job we would love. So because we want to be fully functioning adults, we keep at it so that we can pay your bills, and put food on the table, and live independently. Maybe it buys us time so we can go on a journey to discover what we do love, perhaps it provides us the funds to pursue hobbies that we wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford. Maybe it’s just a job. There’s no shame in any of those situations – so stop acting like you’re a sellout. You’re not.
9. You have a job – and it’s one that you adore. That’s years of self-reflection, and tons of jobs you hated, and planning for the day when you could pursue what lights your heart on fire, and maybe even a dash of luck, too. But no matter what, it’s pretty cool. Celebrate it.
10. When you look in the mirror, you love and respect who you see. To be able to get to a place of self-awareness, and self-love, and constructive self-criticism is an accomplishment. Sometimes people spend their whole lives trying to achieve that so if you’re there now, well done.