Let’s be honest, being an adult can suck sometimes. The bills, the responsibilities, the assumed maturity (that you don’t necessarily have nailed down yet), the expectations, and, oh, did I forget to mention the bills?! What happened to the days of only having to worry about a homework assignment, or who kissed who behind the bleachers, or “when is homecoming again?” There are times when all I want to do is forget my name and play Nintendo all day (I know, I totally just dated myself).
But there are times when it’s completely amazing as well! Like being in your own space, with your own things, and having whatever you want in the refrigerator! If I want to live on Cheetos for the rest of my life, I can! You can’t beat watching a friend marry the love of their life, but it’s not something you get to see much when you’re 16.
Good, bad or frustrating, growing up is unavoidable. Some still pretend to be teenagers – I won’t name names to protect the guilty – but we all change with the seasons and move forward (even if only chronologically). We all have our own toolkit to help us navigate these changes, but there are a few things that every adult should be doing:
1. LEARNING TO BE QUIET
Our entire day is filled with talking, explaining, sharing, interacting and presenting. The act of being quiet not only helps us reset our minds but also allows us to be introspective. Emotional intelligence is highly underrated, and being in a quiet space develops and cultivates your inner voice.
2. BEING FINANCIALLY RESPONSIBLE
Granted, we’re all poor when we graduate, but learning to be responsible with the little you have now will help you build habits when you get that first fat paycheck! Financial health follows you your entire career and retirement thereafter, so it’s important to pay attention early.
3. PURSUING YOUR PASSIONS
Do you remember what you wanted to be at age 5? A veterinarian? A doctor? A lawyer? I wanted to be an Egyptologist! Super random, I know, but somewhere along the way life took over and that dream faded. I’m still curious about the way ancients lived, but working in finance, the two worlds don’t really collide. So instead, I’m following that passion by traveling as much as I possibly can.
Don’t let adult responsibilities be your excuse for losing sight of that joy. Find an alternative way to tap into the kid that used to jump out of trees (maybe that was just me) or treat all your sick stuffed animals with Band-Aids and wraps.
4. PRIORITIZING YOUR HEALTH
Healthy is the new sexy. We’re not all supermodels, and what’s healthy for me isn’t necessarily healthy for you, but we all know what healthy FEELS like. I don’t care if you think you’re “slim-thick,” “rail-thin,” somewhere in between, or no definition applies (I actually prefer to avoid categorical self-identifiers. We’re all beautiful!), being healthy is mandatory. As women, we often take care of others before taking care of ourselves. Ladies, put yourself first and take care of you. We can’t be there for our families and friends if we’re in the hospital or worse. Me Time is REAL!!
And last, but certainly not least:
5. KNOW YOUR WORTH
This is across the board! Not just at work, in friendships or in relationships. We are beautiful, strong women and deserve to be treated as such. Knowing who you are and what you contribute is an invaluable feeling that holds so much weight. When you know your worth, you won’t tolerate being treated as anything less. Self-esteem is a huge issue for many teenaged and adult women who don’t know their worth. Remember who you are and how wonderful you are. Never let anyone smother that fire that you have.
It can be rough being an adult, and there are days when we’d all like to be back on the playground. But to be honest, there’s a reason I blocked out high school, and no amount of money could EVER make me go back there. So for now, I’ll take being able to travel whenever I want to (in accordance with my work calendar that is), come home to a quiet house with my Cheetos and enjoy staying out past curfew! Something tells me that you feel the same.
If you’re looking for some new vinas to conquer adulting (and brunching) with, start swiping on Hey! VINA today!