There are times where I am talking to a group of people and someone will say something so outlandish that I have what I call an “out of body moment.” I stand there in awe at what I just heard, and often wonder how they’ve made it this far in life. It’s because of these conversations I’ve come up with a short list of principles of adulthood. In all reality, being an adult doesn’t have to be hard unless you want it to be.
- Stop blaming others for your situation.
Each person has memories that give them something to talk about in therapy. It’s damn near a rite of passage. But at the same time, you get to a point where you just need to let the baggage go. Take accountability for your own crap and either fix it or stop whining about it.
- Understand and accept that each person you know is making it up as they go along.
No one has their life figured out, nor does anyone have their shit together. We just like to pretend we do. And guess what? This goes for our parents too.
- The only one that gets in the way is you.
I mean, yeah you could be incarcerated, so there’s that barrier, but beyond that, the possibilities are endless. Especially if you are willing to put in the work and get out of your own way.
- There is nothing in life that can’t be fixed by getting a Slurpee.
This might just be in my family, but the fact remains the same. Bad day at school? Snag a Slurpee. Nursing a broken heart? Grab a Slurpee and head to Grandma’s house. And grab her a Slurpee too while you’re at it. Grandma needs her fix.
- Most people don’t have things just handed to them. They worked hard for them, and made sure when the opportunity came, they were ready for it.
You want the big house, cool car, nice boat for the lake? Get out there and bust your butt.
- Stop thinking the world revolves around you.
“World” could even mean your close friends and family. Life’s too short to be held hostage to anyone’s insecurities, even yours.
- For the love of Pete, put your cart in the cart corral at the store.
You know that’s where it goes. You know being lazy and leaving it in the stall next to you creates the opportunity to damage someone else’s car. You know better, so do better.
- Just because someone has different beliefs than you, both religious and political, it doesn’t make them a horrible, miserable, misguided person.
Variety is the spice of life, and that includes those that challenge our beliefs. An examined life is a good life.
- Comparing yourself to others can make for a pretty miserable existence.
While there are times it can be the catalyst for positive change, more often than not it makes us feel like garbage. Remember, Facebook is the highlight reel of life. It does not accurately reflect anyone’s life. It is carefully curated to show only how awesome people are, and does not include bad hair days, crappy jobs, broken down cars, incarcerated children, etc. If you are lucky enough to have FB friends that post real life stuff, hold on to them. They are freaking gold.
- There actually aren’t any rules for adulthood, and a timeline doesn’t exist either.
In your late 30s, going to a junior college? Good! Did you graduate high school five years ago and now all your classmates are married, pregnant, and earning a six-figure salary? Good for them! I think when we are just starting out on this trip of adulthood we think there is a “right way” life is lived, and some magical timeline that we are all supposed to follow. Guess what? There isn’t. You want to know what is magical? Your own timeline, filled with your own dreams and ambitions. Don’t waste time looking at others. Focus on your path and kick some butt.
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