How many times have you seen the hashtag "#adultingsucks" on your social media feed? Complaints and sentiments about adulting are almost everywhere. Still, we can't deny that we all heard the series of this common complaint in life. Have you ever wondered what it is about adulting that triggers such negative responses? Let me put adulting into my own interpretation, one moment you are well-fed and taken care of by your parents. Next, you have to live on your own and learn how to handle every matter in your life.
It's pretty incredible, right? The sense of independence this gives you. Well, it's how adulting works. It's a stage everyone has to go through without the help of a handbook or a YouTube tutorial. But along the way, there are a few key pieces of information that people have learnt along the way to help them. And today, this article dives in to share some tips to deal with adulting.
Slowly, you're getting it right!
Timelines seem to matter as you start to grow up, everyone sees it as a norm. We go through primary school when we're 7, followed by secondary school, then we're off to pursue our higher education and getting married by the time we're 30! Timelines have been instilled in our minds before we're able to realise it. And because of it, we end up putting ourselves in a situation or cycle of feeling unaccomplished when we haven't done something at a certain age. In today's world, everyone has gotten so used to playing a comparison game that it's become a routine. We can't help but see ourselves as failures and tend to compare ourselves into other people's careers, relationships and achievements.
Nevertheless, we need to understand that we all have our own dreams and goals to achieve in life, and that is what makes our journeys unique. So hey, slow down! Getting your first degree after 21 is still an achievement, starting a family after 40 is still beautiful. There's no need to schedule it by a timetable because it is your timeline, and everything is right on time. Remember that your life is entirely up to you, and it is perfectly acceptable to live according to your timeline.
Here's where responsibility comes...
Responsibilities start sprouting up once you step into the phase of adulthood. First, familiarise yourself with financial responsibilities that will help you and your family. Pro-tip is to start saving! Plan your budget on daily expenses and save a small amount of money. For example, saving at least RM5 that you would have spent on any other things. It may not seem significant, but it will pay off in the long run and be helpful when it comes to emergencies.
Next is about spiritual responsibility where you would have to practice self-care and inner peace. According to Kelsee B.Hankins, saying no is the most significant part of self-care. With so many daily tasks grasping your time and energy, all you need is to say "no" to avoid being overburdened. Prioritise giving yourself all the love and attention you require, is the most meaningful part of self-care. For instance, it is fine to reject your friend's invitation when you are exhausted after having a long day of work. Always bear in mind that you do not owe anyone an explanation or a counteroffer.
Feel the emotions!
Emotions strike us all the time, and it's not always about happiness, sometimes frustration and anxiety hit us. Negativity can come in the forms of stress, self-doubt and countless other feelings. It pops up and is the most apparent when you are faced with personal responsibilities in everyday life. People are often told to be physically and emotionally healthy while learning to manage their life. Whether it's from handling bill payments to always keeping a positive attitude and looking at the silver lining when facing any sort of difficulty.
However, everyone should acknowledge that we feel emotions for a reason, and this is how we use them to push ourselves to be better in the future. Therefore, push back against the belief that we should always be happy and confident. Emotions are said to be a powerful force as it has a massive influence on our lives. They drive our thoughts and decision-making as well, thus learning how to feel emotions are significant.
"Emotions are adaptations that allow both humans and animals to survive and reproduce," Naturalist Charles Darwin once said. He suggests that emotions, both positive and negative, play an essential role as a source of motivation in life. Hence, feel the emotions! Don't suppress them, whether it's good or bad. Find a balance, and slowly you will realise the beauty of it.
All in all, learning how to "adult" may be nerve-wracking for some. But when you approach that new stage in life, you'll soon realise how amazing it is. So don't be so afraid of it, have some faith in yourself and prepare your next steps for a new chapter in your life. Shoutout to the youths, you can do this!
By Shermine Ooi