The Rules of Adulthood
Remember when you were a kid and you thought your parents had the easiest life ever? They just got up in the morning, dropped you off at school and then spent the day doing whatever it is that adults do at work before coming home and helping you with your homework. They didn’t have to deal with the drama of high school relationships, or the annoyance of calculus midterms. They never got picked last in gym class or bullied by the class jerk.
When you’re young, adulthood seems like such an easy place. Grown-ups always gave the impression that they had it all figured out. They had jobs and money, families and predictable schedules. Talk about a walk in the park.
Of course, that’s easy for a kid to say.
Being an adult is hard. I’m only 26 and already I want to rewind and go back to the safety of high school. When heartbreak was manageable and responsibilities were minor. I used to spend hours sitting on the bench in my high school’s front foyer, anxiously waiting to grow up and be something.
Funny how badly I wish I was still sitting there now.
The reality of adulthood is it sucks. It’s like high school but with bigger bills, fewer friends, and a long list of regrets. The decisions we make as grown-ups are life altering – the mistakes can shake our very foundations. On the flip side, accomplishments that are achieved in adulthood can literally change your future. Relationships are more meaningful, and your contributions can actually make a difference. You have every opportunity to be amazing, and yet, so many adults get stuck in a rut because they’re scared of the possibilities.
At some point we all just get old.
I don’t want to get old. To become the cookie-cutter adult that kids assume we all turn out to be. It doesn’t suit me. Nor should it suit you.
So, how exactly does one avoid getting old? Easy – you make your own rules. That’s why I’ve created a wall in my apartment dedicated to my “Rules of Adulthood”. On this wall I have a handful of Post-It Notes, each with its own tidbit of wisdom that I’ve picked up along the way. Some of my rules are insightful, others are personal or silly. But the point is simple – there are no hard and fast rules to adulthood. So stop trying to fit into someone else’s mould.
The following are the rules that I live my life by. Every once and a while, I stick a new rule to the wall in order to remind myself that I’m constantly learning more about who Iam and what I want out of life. I’m not ashamed to show my rules to visitors, friends or family members. In fact, the more people that see them, the more real and relavent they become.
Chantielle’s Rules of Adulthood
- What’s fun for other people may not be fun for me – and vice versa.
- Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.
- Good music is the kind of music you like to listen to.
- If you’re not failing, you’re not trying hard enough.
- Morning sex is alway more meaningful.
- Real friends are always there.
- People don’t notice your mistakes as much as you do.
- You can’t change what’s already happened.
- It’s ok to be awkward.
- It’s not always your fault.
- Hurt people hurt people.
- 50% of what people say when they’re joking is the truth.
- Sometimes there is no answer.
My rules may not work for you, and that’s ok. Make your own rules. Take them to heart and make them matter.
It might not keep the grey hairs away, but it sure will make for a more exciting adventure.