I keep seeing memes and rants about the difficulties of "adulting." People are patting themselves on the back for things like putting on pants. Let me let you in on a little secret: You have to wear pants when you are a kid too. And sometimes, you even have to wear pants that your mom picks out for you that you hate. In reality, it's great to be an adult and "adulting" is more fun than being a kid. Here are six reasons why it's awesome.
1. You can choose your own pants. This seems like a little thing, but when you think about it, it's huge. You can wear whatever you want. You don't have to ask permission to buy something, you can just do it. Now, I'm sure, people are lining up with objections-my company dress code doesn't allow jeans, or I need to wear a suit when I meet with clients. Boo, hoo. Those are choices that you get to make. You choose to follow the company dress code because you like the consequence--which is keeping your job. You choose to wear a suit when you meet with clients because you'd like to land the account.
2. You have the ability to change your circumstances. In 7th grade I had the algebra teacher from the netherworld. I couldn't understand a thing he said and my grade plummeted to a C. At the midpoint of the year, he left for a job at a ritzy private school (poor tuition paying parents), and was replaced by a man I could understand. My grades and understanding skyrocketed (and I went on to be the first female in my school's history to pass the AP calculus test). Now, if I was taking this class as an adult, I'd just drop it. I wouldn't suffer through with a bad teacher.
I get so many emails from people who act like they have an insufferable and incomprehensible 7th-grade math teacher in the form of a horrible boss. Turns out, you can find a new job. Not instantaneously. But, you can. You can start your own business. You can change your career. You have the ability to change your own life. you don't have to just pray that your bad boss quits.
3. You can choose your own network. Kids? They are stuck with people their parents find acceptable. Parents choose the school (or school district), the church, and who you can invite to your birthday party. They may make you invite someone you don't care for in order to teach you to be "nice."
As an adult, hopefully you've learned to be nice all on your own, but in addition to niceness, the world is your oyster. You want to associate with people who have an interest in X? You can. You want to join a brown-bag lunch group on knitting or building your own business? You can. You get to choose.
4. You can have chocolate cake for breakfast. Okay, this is actually the best part of adulting. You may grumble about how you have to eat shredded wheat and green smoothies or whatever, but you don't actually have to. You can have chocolate cake for breakfast, McDonald's for lunch, and go to that sketchy all you can eat buffet for dinner, if you want to. No one is stopping you. It's your choice. Hopefully, you choose not to do that every day, as you value your health, but it's still your choice.
5. You have experience on your side. Have you done some stupid things in your life? I'd be shocked if the answer were no. The nice thing is, a lot of stupidity is in your background and you've learned lessons from it. You know not to spend more money than you have. You know not to eat until you can't move. You know to limit your alcohol intake so you don't get sick. These are awesome things.
Some of us have to learn things the hard way. Some of us are lucky enough to be able to learn from other's mistakes. Regardless of the way you learn, when you're an adult, you've learned a lot of things and so you don't have to make those same mistakes again.
6. You can get rid of the toxic people in your life. Yep. Even if they are family, you can move on. If you choose to associate with that aunt that tells you you're fat and questions your life choices, that's on your head. You don't have to see her. If you choose to stay at a job with a boss who belittles you and treats you like crap, that your choice. You can move on.
Sure, there are consequences to moving on. If you choose to avoid your toxic aunt, you might have to miss the family Christmas party. But, that's okay. Heck, if you really want to move on, you can even legally change your name and move to the other side of the planet.
That's the key thing about being an adult-the choice is yours. You get to choose how you live your life. You can solve problems when you face them. You can make the changes you want to make. It's liberating when you realize that as an adult you choose your own path. Sure, you don't get to choose the consequences of your actions, but you get to choose the actions.
If you're in a situation, you don't like, use your adult powers and make changes. If you can't do it on your own, get help! Start with your company's Employee Assistance Program, which can direct you to a therapist and might even pay the first bill. As soon as you realize that you have the power, your life becomes very different. And you'll find that it's awesome to be an adult.