As my friends and I get older, I’ve begun to notice a recurring theme in all of our lives: Being an adult sucks.
When we’re kids, we spend so much time dreaming about what life will be like when we grow. We imagine driving cars, getting married, having our dream jobs, going on new, grown-up adventures. The thing is, while we were busy dreaming about this fantastic adult world, real adults didn’t bother to mention all the other less fun stuff that comes with age. Like debt. Taxes. Caffeine addiction. Relationship turmoil. Responsibility.
The older we get, the more nostalgic we become for our carefree days of youth. But I’ve been thinking. It’s true, some of those not-so-great adult things are unfortunately unavoidable. Most of us will have debt. We all have to pay taxes. But I think there’s a misconception about responsibility, and about becoming “real” adults.
For some reason, we all have this idea that once we reach a certain age, once we’re “grown ups,” we have to start living life and behaving a certain way. We’re supposed to be mature and get real people jobs and get married and have kids. And none of those are BAD things. Not at all. But for some reason, we’ve begun to view them as obligations rather than things that are actually really positive.
If you get a job that you hate just because you have to get a job, you’re not going to be happy. If you marry someone just for the sake of getting married, you’re probably going to be even less happy than you are with the job. That’s the problem in our world today. To live, to get by, just means going through the motions. When you take a job, make sure it’s something you can be passionate about. Make it an environment you enjoy, where you thrive. When you get married, make sure it’s to your best friend, to someone you genuinely want to spend the rest of your life with. Not someone you’re settling for because you’re at that age when you’re supposed to get married.
Don’t live because you have to. Live because you want to.
I’m older. I’m a so-called “real” adult. Legally, I’ve been an adult for almost ten years now. But I’ve tried to hold on to the things that brought me joy as a child. I’ve also found new joy in my adult years.
Here’s the deal. Do at least one thing a day that makes you happy. For example, today, I lit a fall-scented candle. It makes my whole day 150% better. Listen to your favorite song on repeat just because you can. Don’t fall into the routine of simply going through the motions. Enrich your life, even if it’s by simply lighting a candle or eating an extra piece of candy. It’s okay. You’re allowed to be happy. After all, we spend most of our lives as adults. We might as well make it worth while.