Thoughts from a 20-something stumbling through adulthood

Growing up is hard to do

Oh you sweet child. Keep brushing your teeth, because you have NO idea what life is about to throw at you.

At some point during the past year, I transitioned in a new phase of life. And I didn’t even notice.

I realized this about a week ago, as I sliced cheese for a charcuterie board. (Yes, a charcuterie board. A year ago I didn’t even know what that WAS. Mostly I just would’ve laughed because the word “cooter” is kind of hidden inside it.)

As I organized the Brie and salami for my boyfriend’s housewarming party, I realized: Holy shit. This is it. Adulthood. We are here.

Somehow, as I planned happy hours and learned to cook and thought about marriage for the first time EVER, I became an actual grown-up.

And it’s terrifying.

Not only terrifying, but lonely. Because, for the most part, you’re on your own. Sure, your parents will still help you out if you get a flat tire, and your partner/friends will listen to you vent about work, but for the most part, it’s all you girl.

But there’s also another way to think of it: As a supremely exciting opportunity. Remember when your mom told you, “honey, you can be anything you want to be when you grow up.” Yeah, that time is NOW.

Want to change careers and pursue your real passion? The ball’s in your court, dude.

Want to write that novel you’ve had in your head for five years? Go right ahead!

Want to finally get healthy and stop eating cheese in bed? THROW OUT THE GOUDA AND GET GOING, DIVA. (Lol, just kidding. Eat all your gouda first, THEN start this one.)

This might seem a little overwhelming, so let me offer you the flip side of adulthood: YOU GET TO SAY “HELL NAH” TO ALL THOSE UNREASONABLE GOALS YOU’VE BEEN CARRYING.

Guess what? I’m NEVER going to learn Spanish. I’ve always kept it in the back of my mind like “oh yeah, someday I’ll DEFINITELY do that.” But now I have all the time and resources I need, but I just don’t want to! So it comes off the list.

Same thing with living abroad, being a journalist and reading every book on Rory Gilmore’s list. They’re all lovely goals, but I’m simply not going to do them. I have other priorities.

Like starting a blog. (Check!)

Like becoming a yoga instructor. (On my way!)

Like learning to cook and being half the hostess my mom is. (Ehh.. still working on that one.)

So do yourself a huge favor right now: Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle. Label one side “YES!” and the other “ehh.. no.”

On the “YES!” side, put all the goals you’re actively working on, or want to start soon. Keep it simple – five is plenty.

On the “ehh.. no” side, put all these things:

  • What you thought you wanted to do at one point, but changed your mind
  • What a teacher/friend/parent told you to do
  • What you’re “just so good at!” but actually don’t enjoy
  • What you think you should do to “be a good person”
  • Anything that, when you think about it, just bums you out

This is the hard part: Let go. Thank them for the role they once played in your life, then push them out the door like that shacker who doesn’t know when to leave the morning after.

YOU CAN’T DO IT ALL. I promise you, you cannot.

But you CAN do the things you really care about. The things on the “YES!” side. The things that give you life and build you up and make you excited about being a person on this earth. We’ve gotta make room for those things.

And that, friends, is the BEST part about growing up.

I’d love to hear some of your “YES!” items, as well as what you’re finally letting go of. Let me know in the comments, or shoot me a message here!