I think back to when I was a teenager. My mom and I would talk about what kind of adult I would be: where I would live, how many kids I’d have etc. I imagine that poor woman laughed at all my musings because she knew, as all adults know, how complicated adult life can actually get. I’ve been thinking lately about adjusting and how life turned out completely differently to how I expected. Here are 3 adulting pet peeves I’ve picked up along the way.
My biggest accomplishments over weekends usually involve some kind of adult errand that I couldn’t get to during the week! Of course, I do some adult fun stuff too but the fun: responsibility ratio is definitely 2:4. This past midterm break was the first break that I felt like I didn’t actually spend resting because of the errands I had to run ( to be fair, I had postponed the one for a year). I can’t remember the last time I woke up on a Saturday or holiday and had nowhere to be and nothing that had to be done that day. Adulting comes with so many expectations and people you “should not” disappoint. Speaking of things that should be:
The Suppose To Bes
I think adults all live vicariously through each other, mostly because of what they hoped to and didn’t get to accomplish. Adults look at your life and tell you you should be travelling more, buying property or making babies. In my 20s, it was OK that I was childless and unattached but now, in my 30s, adults who walk ahead of me in adulthood scratch their heads and say, “yeah, it’s time now”.
I think it’s all projections of where they are or where they wish they were. I have family members who had kids “late” and worry that I will struggle to raise my future kids if I wait any longer. My friend jokingly told me that a plus one would be assigned to me if I did not bring one to his wedding at the end of March. I get it and I do it too: I edit people’s lives as a way of rectifying or reliving my own life. Sometimes I see the potential mistakes those that walk behind me are making and I try to lead in the right direction, but the truth is, nobody actually asked me for advice and I don’t know that they may actually be making better decisions than I ever made at their age. It’s also a lot of pressure for the person in the shoes, because you understand the good things about your life and you also understand the yearnings for that which you don’t have yet. Most importantly, you can work through your feelings about it all the older you get. While advice is needed sometimes, it’s also ok to understand that one’s life doesn’t need to look like any of the should bes in order to be a good life.
Sometimes I wish someone would step into my life and actually make the decisions I am too afraid to make. I wish they would make all the difficult decisions for me so I dont have to deal with the stress of it all. Adult decisions are scary. What if you make the wrong financial decision and end up in debt? What if you play it safe and take no risks resulting in a life void of adventure? What if you go on that adventure and something bad happens?! I’m hyperventilating at all the possibilities!
Don’t panic, though! Adulting can be a bit of a balancing act, that’s for sure, but it can be a lot of fun too. I’ve learned that it’s ok to let go sometimes and have a little fun. I’ve learned that some things are for you, are still coming for you or will not come, and that’s OK. Sometimes it’s ok to take the day off for yourself and pick it all back up the next day. It’s really not the end of the world. In the adult world, you have to take the good in with the bad. Things have a strange way of working themselves out for your good in the end.
So clearly I don’t have any answers for you. There is no epiphany about how to make a good life to yourself. Sift through the advice, take in what you want and throw out the rest and you may just survive the world of adults more or less in one piece.