This year has definitely been about the transition from young adult to full blown adultness. You see a lot of memes floating around poking fun at those who are looking for an adult to look after their responsibilities when they realise they are indeed the adult; I resonate with these a lot. It is not until you have to start booking your own doctors appointments, sign contracts, talk to your friends about taxes and make massive, life changing decisions that it hits you – you are adult. It’s a very scary time. No one has ever explained to you fully how to adult, and the trigonometry you learnt in school seems kind of pointless when you attempt your first real resume and cover letter.
The trick to adultness is trial and error, you will make mistakes and you will learn. But no one tells you that either. These older 23-26 year olds you used to look up to had their shit together, or so it seemed. So when the decisions you make aren’t the right ones and you end up almost crying in a ball at work because you don’t know how to connect a new printer to a network, know you are not alone. Know that this is just part of the process. That to change and grow you to have a stimulus. And often the greatest stimulus’ are those we don’t necessarily see coming. But that is life.
So after 6 months of this adult roller coaster I feel I have spoken to enough mentors (those who have adulted for a long time) to finally group together some valuable advice.
- Know who you are and what you value most. This is probably the most important piece of advice I have learnt. As we grow we are thrown into situations where we have to make big decisions and every decision you make in life has consequences. And if you make these decisions knowing you have stayed true to who you are and what you value then you will be at peace with the outcomes whether they be good or bad. Knowing what you value and what your strengths/areas of improvement are can help you to establish more meaningful relationships, stronger career paths and better work-life balance.
- Everyone will have an opinion, not all of them matter. Tip number two connects strongly with tip number one. I, like many of us, care too much what people think and strongly value the opinion of others. This will ultimately lead to you being unhappy. Why I here you ask? You cannot control what other people think of you. Nor can you control the advice and direction THEY want YOU to take with YOUR life. And most people will not mean to create negativity through their opinion, but it happens. You cannot please everyone. You control your own destiny and ultimately you are the one in control of how you live your life. Stay true to who you are and as hard as it may be block out the opinions that don’t matter.
- Find your niche and chase your dreams. When we finish school, at a tender age of 17/18, we are forced to decide exactly what we want to do for the rest of our lives. Some people have passions so strong that they’ve planned their lives to a T, others not so much. The lucky thing is that we have the ability to continually change the path that we are on, and the career/job/life we end up with. Take time to identify what you love doing, what you do well and what you want to spend your time on. It may take a few years of exploring yourself and who you are but in this day and age you can make a career out of anything. If you want it bad enough then you will find a way to incorporate your passion into your life.
- Just keep swimming. Dory is an incredibly wise fish. We are often posed with the age old question; “If you could tell just one thing to your younger self what would it be?”. Mine would be this; It will be okay. There will be days, which can turn into weeks and months, where you feel like nothing is going right. You are trying your hardest and getting nowhere. It may seem hopeless especially when that silver lining is still hiding behind the clouds but it will work out in the end. I believe everything in life happens for a reason, and every set back you have makes you the person you are today. So enjoy the ride, and just keep keeping on.
To summarise what I have learnt, being an adult isn’t about knowing what you’re doing next, or having your poop in a group. It’s about being you and enjoying the unknown. It’s about finding what makes you feel alive, chasing that dream, ignoring those who don’t support you and overcoming obstacles. You won’t always be able to do these things, and you will likely end up crying over spilt milk some mornings, but know that what is meant to be will always find a way.
Peace, Love and Food xx