I first published this post more than two years ago, and it seems fitting to revisit it in the Week of Knowing Your Worth.
I’ve edited it just a bit, of course . To reflect where I am at now. Still mid thirties, but a bit more more grown-up.
There are definitely things that mark your emergence into adulthood, no matter how late they come (mid thirties, anyone?). Here are some:
- Realising that what other people think of you is none of your business. You are not on this earth to be liked by everyone. That said, have opinions and make judgements, and be OK with that. It’s fine not to like everyone, just as it’s fine that not everyone likes you. I seem to be increasingly comfortable with this. To the point where I have even stopped editing my true self with people who don’t approve of the ‘real’ me. Too bad.
- Putting greater store on being respected than being approved of.
- Understanding what healthy boundaries are and maintaining them. With a certain amount of discomfort if necessary. Yes, I can say, most of the time I get this right. You are uncomfortable with my childhood? That’s your stuff, not mine.
- Expressing your sexuality for yourself, in a way that is a celebration of life, and not some attempt to please or manipulate. I’ve run into a few people with serious issues in this regard. Folks, I’m here to tell you that therapy is worthwhile. Get some. Grownups don’t go around messing with other people’s feelings because they are too selfish or immature or whatever to admit to what they are doing.
- Taking responsibility for your finances. I agree with Burk Krohe when he talks about a lack of a job being embarrassing. Dudes, you are grown up. Don’t be leeching off anyone else. Not your husband, wife, not your mother/father/aunt/housemates. They probably won’t be around when you are old. In fact, if you keep leeching off them, they definitely won’t, and who will look after you then?
- Learning to cook, or, at the very least, assemble food. Again, it’s Not a Good Idea to rely on someone else to nourish you. In any case,cooking is fun, and the food you make at home is invariably tastier and cheaper than takeaways or restaurant food.
- Keeping your houseplants alive.
- Getting enough sleep, taking your vitamins, doing enough exercise, generally taking care of your health. You don’t have to do this when you are 18 (all-nighters, anyone? Two or three nights in a row?) but as anyone in their thirties can attest, this state of affairs can’t last. If I get less than EIGHT hours of sleep, I am wrecked for days afterwards.
So, we aren’t all adults all the time, despite what our ages might suggest. But we try, right?
What great grown-up things do you do? Any you wish you could do?