Y’all, I am about to turn the big 2-9 which means I have been “adulting” for a good 10ish+ years or so. I say “adulting” because I would, for the most part consider myself an adequate at best adulting adult. I pay my own bills, live on my own, know how to change the oil in my car, and know how to make a mean lasagna. Impressive, I know.
Through every stage of life, right up until these formidable adulting years, we dream of becoming an adult. We can’t wait until we can slam back Lemon Drop shots on our 21st, until we can eat ice cream for dinner (or breakfast, no judging), until we can live on our own, until we can get married and have kids. We can’t wait until we have say over our lives.
We wait, wait, wait for that moment. And then wait some more.
But then one day, we wake up on a random Tuesday morning and holy hell, we’re there.
After all of those years of waiting and hoping and dreaming, we finally made it, guys!
But what no one ever tells you growing up is that once you’re there, a full-fledged adult, you are instantly thrust into a world that is unfamiliar, complicated and so damn confusing. Sure, you can have as many of those Lemon Drop shots, shots, shots as you or your liver see fit, you can stay up to all hours of the night binge watching House of Cards, you can have ice cream for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and walk around your OWN apartment in your underwear in you want.
But you also have to actually start doing adulty things, things that you never really had to worry about before. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t spend a good majority of my early 20’s wondering what a 401K was, avoiding doing my laundry like it was the plague and considering a bowl (or three) of Frosted Flakes as a 5-star gourmet meal. But with age, comes wisdom (and better hair choices), and I can confidently say that I’ve become a better adulting adult.
Here are just a few ways that you can tell that you’re doing this adulting thing pretty alright:
1. You’re Excited To Go Home…To Do Nothing
Don’t get me wrong, I’m a huge fan of barhopping with my girls, but most days, all that’s keeping me going is the thought of going home, curling up in bed and re-binging Parks and Recreation on Netflix all by myself, and I’m perfectly content with that.
2. You’re Becoming More Responsible With Your Money
When I got my tax refund, the first thing I did was pay off some of my student loans, deposit money into my savings account, and pay off my credit card bill (damn you, Christmas 2015). I couldn’t believe it. The worst part was that it actually made me happy. Who knew being responsible could bring so much joy. I also found out about Credit Card Insider recently, which is a really helpful resource for understanding how credit cards and credit scores work.
3. Dating Is No Longer A Pastime
I can’t numerate the amount of times I’ve watched movies where an older female character complains about how she “hates dating” and couldn’t bother with “starting over with someone new” and just wanted to “skip to being an actual relationship”. Whenever I heard this, I would hardcore roll my eyes and call them liars because dating is way too much fun! You meet so many new and different people and get to have loads of exciting fun with all of them and usually end up eating just all of the delicious food. But the older I’m getting, the less I’m looking for someone new to add to my rotation and the more I’m realizing that time spent working toward something of actual substance may be a better idea.
4. You’re Selective With Your Choosing Of Friends
Who you’re dating is important, but the people you’re friends with is just as important, maybe even more so. They say it’s hard to make friends in your adult years and I think that’s because the older you are the easier it is to detect “frenemies”, or people who aren’t genuine about their hopes that you’re happy and progress in life. Ain’t nobody got time for that! #byeFelicia
5. You Can’t Stand Younger People
Thoughts such as “Was I THAT obnoxious?” and “Where are these children’s parents?” cross my mind quite frequently when in the presence of teenagers. But seriously, kids nowadays are the absolute worst – who raised them?!
6. You Take Care Of Your Body
Whether that means cutting back on your fast food intake, actually making it to the gym more than once a year in January, or even not getting black-out drunk three times a week and giving your poor liver a rest, you’re realizing that starting to take care of your body is probably a good investment.
7. You Have Actual Plans For Your Future
I was all over the place trying to figure out what I wanted to do with my life during high school, college, and even a year “in the real world”. But now, I not only have a clear-cut idea as to how I envision my life, but more importantly, I’m taking practical steps in making these dreams my reality. Adulting is all about realizing how important this really is.
The truth is, we’re all just figuring this thing out as we go along. You can read as many “How-To” books and talk to as many people as you’d like, but the best advice I could ever give you is to try, to fail, and fail hard. But learn from your mistakes, dust yourself off, and get back in the game.
And if all else fails, remember that ice cream for breakfast is never a bad decision.