Adulthood: Becoming You
Umm…I don’t know about you but I often find myself looking around the room for an adult and it’s me. This adult thing is really out of control. It’s like you’re thrown into adulthood with no training, no knowledge – and yet people expect us to be the best at it. Think back to when you were younger, a kid. I know I use to look at 23 year olds and really think they knew everything. I planned meet a sweet guy in college that I would spend the rest of my life with, move out together, get married by 23, and first child by 24. HA! I knew NOTHING! Now being 25, I’m still trying to be a grown up. It’s hard, trust me I know, it’s weird, it’s nothing like we’ve experienced before. But the truth is, we have to do it. My mom gave be a book for my birthday, The 52 Lists Project by Moorea Seal. At first I thought it was silly, but after doing it for a few weeks I really noticed a change with myself. I still have no idea what I’m doing in this thing called adulthood, but here’s what I’ve learned along the way!
The first and most important secret to adulthood is that you need to learn how to be your own best friend. Sometimes you won’t have other people around, other people to help and give advice, and it will only be you. So you have to love and be comfortable with yourself. First and foremost – take care of your body. Eat clean and healthy – I know that can be tough. Especially when we are always on the go! From working to school to errands, it’s so much easier to stop at a fast food restaurant and keep it moving. But really it impairs us in the end. We have to learn how to use our time wisely and effectively. Go to your favorite grocery store and buy food for the week. Make your dinner and you’ll be able to take food for lunch the next day. Another thing you can do is exercise. Whether it’s walking, going to the gym, or just doing an activity – just get moving! You’re body will thank you I promise!
Do something that makes you happy! Anything! At least once a week do anything that makes you smile. That way you have something to look forward to during the week. If you’re having a bad week, this could be your quick escape from reality. Go to the movies, out to dinner, or simply read a book – just do something that you enjoy.
Lastly, say something positive to yourself every day before you leave the house. Make sure it’s not your wardrobe or jewelry - something about you, something that can’t change. Figure out what your own best accessory is and play it up every day!
This is one of the hardest things to do – I can be very prideful and stubborn sometimes. But that’s one part of growing up and entering adulthood. Have you ever heard yourself say to someone “Well, you’re better than me, because I would’ve…” I’ve said it before, believe me. But my mom always told me “When they go low, you go high.” Always be the better person, take the high road. That’s way easier said than done, but negative people don’t deserve your time and energy. Let go. Don’t let things get to you that really shouldn’t because in retrospect maybe you were just hungry, maybe you were having a bad day. Just remember you have no space for negativity in your life – you’re trying to be the best you can be!
Letting go also means letting go of physical things. De-clutter your life by de-cluttering your environment. I’m in the middle of getting rid of a lot of things right now that I haven’t touched or used in years! They are simply there because I can’t let go. I can’t let go of my high school shirts because it’s nostalgic. I can’t let go of all my handbags because I spent money on them. DONATE! All the things you have and don't use, someone else may actually need.
Hi. My name is Jessica Jackson and I’m a shopaholic. Budgeting my money is the worst for me! Little things here and there really add up and then all of a sudden it’s like “umm where’d my paycheck go?” So if I can do it you can too. First thing you must do is find out what you’re actually spending your money on. I know because I ate out so much I spent the most on food. I started out easy by cooking more and eating out less. I take my lunch to work three times a week and eat out twice. Eventually I’ll be able to bring my lunch every day – but I’m not at that point just yet. Next, get a planner – which can end up being very pricey. But you don’t necessarily need a huge, expensive planner – you can get a nice simple notebook (JAM has some #justsayin). Just something that you know you’ll be able to organize yourself with. Cut down on your spending, a little bit at a time. Make sure you have list when you go shopping and don’t stray from it! Go to the mall or store for what you have written down. And coupons are always a good idea! Check before you go and make sure you get the best for your buck. Organize your bills. Before the start of every month I write down what bills I’m paying and how much I’m giving each week. That way I know how much I have left over and how much of that I put away and save.
With you’re planner you’ll also be able to budget your time. For me it’s an awesome way to plan appointments for myself or my cats, as well as scheduling when I can exercise and go kickboxing or walking.
Goooaaaaaaaal!! Okay, not that kind of goal, although we are in a sport called adulthood. Set goals and timelines for yourself. Stay as close to them as possible. Save $50 each paycheck. I know, some weeks you’ll feel really good about yourself and save double! And some weeks you’ll need a drink…or five and you may only save $20 and that’s okay. We are all still learning. Don’t be down on yourself. If you want to go back to school set a timeline on how to start that process and an ultimate end goal. Friends? We love them, but sometimes life gets in the way and you don’t get to see them how often as you’d like. Set a goal for the amount of times you can see them in a month. You want a new job or career change? Tell yourself buy March 2017 I will be out of this place and somewhere I’d like to be and follow up with applying to different positions and working on your interviewing skills. All those activities you love and want to do but don’t have the time – find it! Remember you have to keep yourself happy – that is your main priority. Everything will eventually fall into place. Set goals for when you want to do those things. My goal for kickboxing is three times a week. I write it down in my planner and so far, it’s been working for me.
This is a lot for anyone to do all at once. It’s not just learning how to be an adult, it’s a lifestyle change. Unfortunately we are not Peter Pan – at some point we have to grow up. It’s okay to fail and we have to be comfortable with that. You wouldn’t like it if someone gave up on you right? So don’t give up on yourself. Like I said, some weeks will be better than others. We are blossoming into adulthood! Some days we will get more water and sunshine and we can bloom and some days will be cloudy and we won’t get what we need. What we have to always keep in mind there is always tomorrow and tomorrow is always a better day.