It’s not like we planned it. Really if anyone had warned me about how bitter-sweet adulting would be, I just might have taken time out to enjoy being in my baby and teen stages.
However, here we are and if wishes were horses, we’d all be on Forbes list, wouldn’t we? The truth is, there are so many dos and don’ts about being an adult－about the responsibility that comes with it. A plethora of feelings are often associated with this stage and it can get overwhelming if not confusing.
One moment you know just what to do with your life and the next, it’s almost like you’re having a mid-life crisis! This is a phase in our lives where WE have to make some life-changing decisions for OURSELVES and sometimes, for others. It’s hard but I have to tell you this right now:
PREPARE TO ‘ADULT’!
There I said it. We’ve all heard the famous catchphrase “Adulting issa Scam !” Lol. Don’t let it catch you unawares.
It’s funny how we prepare for a lot of things but fail to prepare for the evolving phases of our lives. We tend to prepare for occasions and specific events in isolation; missing out on the big picture. Most of us prepare to go to college or university but we don’t prepare for the psychological alterations of that growth stage. We prepare to land our first dream job but not all that comes with it. And when it boils down to it, we just keep growing and growing without direction; without clarity of self or vision. We don’t try to put ourselves in shape for the curves and turns of life. What happens in most cases is that we let life shape us.
We must approach life intentionally－with grit, guts and a plan to win. Will some of these plans fail? Definitely (Most in fact ….hehehe). However, more catastrophic than a failed plan is the sheer lack of one.
LEARN TO SAY NO
You are going to read life-changing books. You will attend powerful conferences that will change the trajectory of your thinking.
NEWS FLASH! All that knowledge is destined for the trash can if all you’re going to do all your life is say YES.
I learnt this the hard way, and I still am. I know it can be hard to defy people; especially if they are very important to you. They could be your parents, boss, mentor or someone who you respect greatly. It is difficult, but it’s the one thing you must learn to do albeit courteously and wisely, but you must learn to say No.
What do you say NO to? I don’t have all the answers. Still, you know that deep gut feeling you get when you know you really don’t want to do this? The subtle feeling of scepticism that you always brush off just because you don’t want to come off as offensive? I think it’s about time you pay attention.
There was a time in my life when I had to say No. It was difficult; more so because I had to say it several times before I was left alone to do what I wanted. It was a gruelling process because it had to do with my parents and the decision to wait another whole year or go to the University that had been ‘worked out’ for me. There were moments of tears and fear. Moments when I knew I was this close to giving in…but I held on with the right support of course.
I had to prepare for the worst because I had chosen to oppose conformism knowing that if I follow through on this, I’ve got to be ready for possible failure. Looking back now, it all turned out well. I made the best decision for myself.
Get over the idea that you will get to do all you feel passionately about because you will be allowed to. Get over the desire to want every Dick, Tom and Harry agree with you always.
Without a doubt, good counsel is important. Nevertheless, there are times when you have to make a decision that defies the norm, and you’re going to have to learn to tolerate societal disapproval.
PS: I’m not asking you to be a mindless rebel. Work with what you have…FIRST!
I have heard several millennials like me complain endlessly; justifying their complacency by blaming it on a failed system.
It took me so long to publish my first novel. I had begun writing it in my last year in secondary school only to dump it when the story was already coming together. Why? I felt like I didn’t have the resources I needed at the time to publish my book. It took me another 7 years to finally finish it and publish it myself.
What changed? My network of friends, my skills and most importantly, my decision to stop making excuses. I hadn’t become a millionaire overnight yet so I still couldn’t afford a publisher or an editor or even a graphics designer. Neither had I become a celebrity or social media influencer.
I had to leverage on the network of friends I had and put in extra work to learn new skills that were required to complete the process so I could get them done myself.
I simply accepted the current situation of things and made steady plans to work my way out of it. There was so much I wanted to do, but I assessed my strengths and the resources that were available to me at the time. I knew I could have all that I desired. All I had to do was make up my mind to work it out.
We blame our parents. We blame our environment and then blame the government. No matter how good your excuses are, they can never yield good results. So while I know having some resources and being in a certain kind of environment is advantageous to growth, I also know that you can plan and work it out.
So step up, prepare to be an adult, learn to own it and start right now…where you are.