I think I’m finally adulting
20 life lessons learned over 2 years of chaos, confusion, and burnout recovery
As I type this, I’m finally sitting in a near-empty house, surrounded by nothing more than carpet that’s not covered in toys, clothes, books and whatever other possession that made up the contents of our home.
Over the past week, we’ve been packing everything into black bags and moving everything we can to the new place. As I prepare to leave this house forever, it feels like I’m properly closing off a chapter in my life that was filled with the aftermath of burnout, chaos, confusion, and uncertainty.
Some people are late bloomers and as each day moves me closer towards the big thirty, I’m starting to feel more and more like an actual functioning adult.
Perhaps it had something to do with having a baby. Perhaps losing my job when the company closed down forced me to face my own realities. Perhaps it was a culmination of many things and for the first time in a long time, I feel like everything is about to calm down and fall into place.
There are 3 kinds of people — regardless of generation — the kind that doesn’t have it together, the kind that’s sort of figuring things out and those that have their life set up properly with sunshine and picket fences.
Over the past 2 years, it feels like I’ve finally figured out how to transition from the first category to the second one. At some point, I’ll probably make it to the group that’s finally got everything together and in the right place.
It was a bit of a process but I think I’m in the right place right now.
Here are the things that I’ve learned during this transition and the things that make me feel like I’m finally adulting properly.
- Burnout is the result of caring too much for things that ultimately don’t matter in the end.
- Waking up at 5 am won’t solve your time management issues. There are time sinks everywhere. It’s a matter of acknowledging them for what they are and doing something about it.
- Imposter syndrome is a version of fear, masked up with the feeling that you’re not quite good enough despite what everyone else is saying. The truth is, imposter syndrome is actually another word for fear of failure.
- People’s opinion of you is all about perception. They ultimately see what they choose to see. Their perception is only a facet of who and what you are.
- The people that matter will match your efforts to stay in contact. There are people in your life that will appear to care until you’re no longer useful to them. Some people only talk to you out of obligation rather than a genuine interest in you. It’s alright to cut out those people. They’ve already done it to you, so don’t feel bad when you do it to them. The worst that will happen is that you won’t be interacting with them again.
- Creativity springs from having less and not more. Having less will make you aware of what you have. Abundance makes you complacent. It turns you flabby, physically and mentally.
- Our possessions define where we are in time. The more we cling onto the past, the less capable we are at living in the present.
- Minimalism isn’t about having less but having the things that matter.
- Being a freelancer is like running a business. Having clients come to you is a better and less stressful way to run things.
- Learning to be at peace with uncertainty will allow you to take bigger risks and reap the bigger rewards.
- Debt is a lie. It doesn’t make your life better — rather, it cuts into your ability to be truly free with your earnings. Being in debt will chain you to your creditors. It’s an until death do us part kind of relationship that no one tells you when you’re younger.
- Your work makes up a good portion of your life. If you’re unhappy with it, then you spend the majority of your time being satisfied with your reality.
- Being the person you needed when you were younger may turn out to be the person you need to be in the present.
- Children are like mirrors — they will reflect back the environment they spend their time in and who you are as a person. They will mimic your tendencies and quirks, bringing light to things that you may not even be aware of.
- Life is a series of choices. Make them deliberately or risk giving away your free will to the tides and waves that carry us down pathways we may not like.
- Adulting is more than just figuring out how to cover your own expenses and bills. It’s about taking responsibilities and ownership of your commitments, including any blunders and mistakes you may have made when you were younger.
- Cheap food doesn’t have to be processed food. Frugal doesn’t always mean beans and rice. We all have preconceptions about these things and a little research can help you uncover some things about your perception towards within a certain budget.
- Going on a motivational binge isn’t sustainable. Figuring out frictionless systems for your routines and tendencies are the things that will create effective and lasting change.
- It’s never too late to take ownership of your finances. Sometimes it’s better to start late than never at all.
- Always ask for more. You might get it. You might not. But better that you tried than never try at all. You determine your worth. Everyone else is just making educated guesses based on what you ask. So ask for more. Always overestimate and aim higher to grow your personal sense of worth.
And that’s it for now.
Some people already have their new decade in full swing — but in true late bloomer fashion, I’m going to do things in my own time.
At some point tomorrow, I’m going to move into my new space and finally start my version of 2020. New beginnings can happen at any moment. Mine is starting in February because I can.