Apparently the average person does not feel like an adult until the age of 29.
Well, as I sit here in my giant zebra slippers in the house where I am renting a room from my best friend, I think that’s sort of debatable.
Personally, I don’t think you can put a number on when you begin to feel like an adult – and what does that mean anyway?
What is the definition of an adult? What are we marking our adultness by? Careers? Houses? Marriage? Babies? A savings account? The ability to put the milk back in the fridge when you’ve used it? Grasping how to use the wool setting on your washing machine?
For me the concept of being “adult” isn’t marked by a checklist of material things or milestones, it’s a way of thinking about yourself and your life. It’s about knowing who you are and taking responsibility for yourself, not just financially, but emotionally, spiritually and morally.
Wow. That got deep.
But, jokes aside, it did get me thinking. Even if I don’t quite feel like a fully grown adult, there are so many things that I have learned about myself and life in general.
So here they are: Thirty things I know now I am, gulp, 30 years old.
Not knowing what you want to do is perfectly normal – even the most settled of people still dream of other things and think about other careers. It’s awful when you feel like you’re stuck or left behind but don’t let it get you down.
You have to be your own prince charming – as cheesy as this is, I really believe it. It’s all well and good having bloody Disney telling us that the only way we’ll get out that tower, wake from that spell or flee the wicked witch is with the aid of a man. I mean, no-one’s got time to wait around for that. Enjoy time with your partner, appreciate their wonderfulness, but don’t expect them or anyone else to save you. Save yourself.
Anxiety is terrifying – and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Don’t let people make you feel silly or tell you to snap out of it. It’s a real and often debilitating illness. But have heart, there are so many people who can help and so many management techniques out there. You’ll be just fine. I am.
Social media is brilliant, but it isn’t really life – they are great tools for self-promotion and fun ways to share things with others. They are not reality. Do not assess your self-worth by the amount of likes you get or followers you have.
You get out what you put in – work hard, put in positive thoughts and actions, and it will come back to you. I am sure of it.
Karma is a bitch – Be nice or the universe will retaliate.
What’s for you won’t go by you – if it’s meant to be, it will eventually be. Didn’t get the job? It wasn’t right. Didn’t work out with that person? There is someone else out there for you
Friendship touches a life more greatly than a relationship – let’s face it, my most significant relationships to date have been with friends. Take care of these good people and never take them for granted.
I don’t believe in love at first sight – I’m not knocking those who do. I believe that love grows. But butterflies are important. I refuse to let go of the concept of butterflies in my stomach when I meet someone new. Love grows, so does attraction, but a spark is important.
Don’t confuse drama with excitement – or niceness with boringness.
Stop bleaching your hair – it will fall out.
Take care of your health. Those warnings and free tests are there for a reason, people.
Glasses are your best friend. Eye tests for all.
Take your friendships with a pinch of salt – people fall out, people disappoint, people have lives with ups and down and crazy twists. Let people make mistakes. Let people grow and change, they can’t remain the person they were when you met them ten, twenty, even two years ago.
Stand up for what you believe in. Be heard – don’t be afraid to have opnions because it will make you unpopular. But don’t be a dick about it either. Stand up for what you believe in. Millions of people – women in particular – cant voice their opinions for fear of reprisal. We are fortunate enough to have the freedom to voice our thoughts. Use it wisely.
Travel. Travel. Travel – go everywhere. As often as you can. See the world.
Life’s too short to be stuck doing something you loathe because of money – OK, so we can’t always avoid this one because of having to pay bills and, you know, eat to survive or whatever, but if you hate it that much, get out. Sometimes we may have to sacrifice our happiness just for a short time for the abovementioned survival issues, but always have an end goal to work towards. Don’t just float.
Don’t let anyone make you feel like you aren’t good enough.
Remove all toxicity from your life – even if it is a friendship – this is something everyone struggles with. It’s difficult to remove that friend or partner from our lives completely but sometimes it’s necessary. Besides, it’s not a friendship or love if you constantly feel awful about yourself, is it?
Staying out until four in the morning isn’t always the best idea – especially when you have to catch a train at 10 am the next morning. You will probably vomit.
Never drink wine on a night out. Nuff said.
Take your make up off before going to bed – gone are the days of crusty mascara. Baby wipe that shizzle before heading off to dreamland no matter how drunk you might be. Oh, and brush your teeth. Properly.
Some people remain with us – Don’t beat yourself up for not being “over it” already. Some people stay in your heart and head for a reason. If it hurts, seek help.
Don’t pass judgement on others – so this one is kind of difficult as I think we are all guilty of being judgemental. Try and put yourself in somebody else’s shoes before making a snap decision. Or a bitchy comment.
Mental illness is nothing to be ashamed off – Take care of yourself and others who are showing the warning signs. Don’t ignore problems, they don’t go away on their own. Don’t be frightened or embarrassed about how you feel. Sort it.
A job is just a job – go to bed at a normal time, don’t look at those work emails at 3 am. There’s so much more to life than a constantly ringing iPhone or job title. Don’t put of time with family and friends because you’re too busy working. Life is short. I can guarantee that unless you’re a brain surgeon or work in an industry where people’s lives depend on you, it really isn’t that important. Those marketing reports will wait until the morning.
Read everything – turn off TV, close Facebook and grab a book. Imagination is a powerful thing. Lets keep instilling this in our kids, yeah?
Grief never dies. It fades with time but will always remain – and that’s not a bad thing. You learn to live with it and it often makes you a stronger person. When you’ve faced losing a loved one, all the small things just seem trivial. It’s all just white noise.
Don’t confuse being alone with loneliness – being by ourselves is important. Be it a solo trip or time out between relationships. Being by yourself does not make you lonely, it makes you stronger.
And lastly, always, always strive to be kind – in your actions, words and thoughts. Watch the way you speak to people and about people. Don’t confuse unkindness with assertiveness.