I’ve heard people say that you’re only finally growing up when you begin to realize how much of a scam being an adult is and I tend to agree. You spend every minute growing up wanting to be an adult already so that adults can take you seriously and then you become an “adult” (which may really just be a social construct because we’re all kids inside) and you just want to go back to being a kid again.
Here are five of the toughest things you’ll have to learn as an adult and how you can deal with them:
1. Life is HARD: For everyone. It’s harder for some people than it is for everyone but don’t be fooled into thinking that life’s a breeze for anyone. That’s one of the problems with comparing lives, something that’s so common with the advent of social media.
How to deal? Support people. Be an encourager, be an enthusiast. By paying attention to your mental response to the successes of other people, you can tell where you fall on the enthusiast–cynic meter. You don’t have to LOVE everything, but you don’t have to be the Simon Cowell every single time either. It does not make you appear smarter.
2. Life is BUSY: You’re finally growing up when your friends have full agendas and getting everyone in the same place for a regular hang is ridiculously difficult. With adulthood comes busy schedules and people have to prioritize because energy is finite. You may also be so busy, you don’t have time to do much more than getting through your to do list.
How to deal? Forgive people for being too busy for you. People who care about you will always make time for you but sometimes you’ll need to be patient with them. They’ll also have to be patient when you’re crazy busy and can’t talk as often as they’d like.
3. Life is UNFAIR: Sometimes people who don’t seem to be working as hard as you are will get better opportunities than you will. Other times, you’ll work as hard as you possibly can and still won’t achieve your goals. That’s life. We’re taught that hard work always = success, but sometimes you have to consistently work hard + not give up or into failure before you = success.
How to deal? Work hard anyway. Work smart, work consistently and eventually something’s gotta give. You’ll either discover that maybe you’re doing the wrong thing or you need to re-strategize, but something will give.
4. You can’t have it all: People like to say we can have everything we want but the truth about “balancing” life is closer to something I once read about humans only being able to juggle about 3-4 aspects of life at any one time (work, health, family, social life, spirituality, hobbies). Of course, we have the opportunity to have all of these things under our belts but not all at once and that’s why on weekdays, you can’t be doing work and social gallivanting and sleeping enough hours and taking violin lessons everyday and still raise a family. Human, not octopus.
How to deal? Acceptance. Schedule like you’re a human, not an octopus. Be realistic. Set priorities that you never have to compromise on and the ‘other stuff’ will have to fall wherever and whenever it will. Take care of yourself.
5. We don’t have all the answers: I always thought that when I became an adult, I’d finally KNOW EVERYTHING. Lies. Things could even get more confusing, because then you meet people from so many backgrounds and life becomes bigger than your little box.
How to deal? We all need to find stability in this crazy world of ours. For me, that’s in my spirituality. We may not know all the answers, but that doesn’t mean we should give up on searching, does it?
PS: I’m planning a Q & A post on the blog in May and for that I need your questions. If there’s anything you’ve always wanted to know about med school, photography, life etc, please leave me a comment or get in touch with me here.
Something important to remember through it all is that life is always big and beautiful, especially when you’re looking from the right perspective and when you count independence and income, adulthood definitely has it’s perks, eh?
What has been your greatest struggle with adulthood?