Can we please talk about the struggles of adulting.
Otherwise known as, the place where responsibilities are endless and the struggle is most definitely real. Ughhh how did we even end up here?! It seems like just yesterday we were graduating college and smiling from ear to ear over the fact that we FINALLY had money and freedom! Our eyes were set on our bright future and our hearts were thankful we made it through the “toughest time of our life” (lol). Plus, we could celebrate the culmination of our academic career with parties and pizza and champagne!
Of course…little did we know our graduation gift was adulting.
Is that gift refundable?
Unfortunately, no. But luckily, all of the Blush coaches have been through this hellish transition and have some tips and struggles to share with you. We all made it to the other side, and so will you!
So, here are five struggles of adulting coupled with some advice to make the journey a lot less frustrating.
1. Having No Clue What Your Timeline Should Be
Ah, the pinnacle of adulthood. Looking around at everyone else and wondering, “What the hell am I doing?”
It’s confusing. It’s intimidating. It’s downright terrifying!
But…why? Why do we ALL feel this way?
Well, mostly because after graduation, our timeline vanishes. Sure, we hold onto that fairy tale time table that we made up when we were sixteen. You know, the one where we decided we were going to be married, own a house, a couple of dogs, make six figures a year AND have the white BMW 5 series all by the time we turned 26. Ha.
Back then we had a full decade to make all of that happen, so it seemed totally plausible. But now, we’ve learned adulting is much, much harder than it looks. Bye, bye 5 series. Hello student loans and sky high rent.
So when should we have everything figured out? When should our fairy tale life start being a reality?
Here’s the tough part. You don’t have everything figured out by a certain time. And your fairy tale life might not be a reality. Ever.
The good news? That’s totally fine.
We get that you prefer to know when things are going to happen. It’s easy to have a day marked on the calendar that represents when your life is officially “together.” But life doesn’t work like that. Growing up isn’t a project you have to turn into your teacher for a grade. It’s organic. It’s a process. And it doesn’t have an arbitrary ‘start’ or ‘finish’ date. So you get to make of it what you’d like. And you don’t have to feel pressure to ‘get it together’ immediately.
Don’t look to your right or your left and wonder how everyone else managed to reach the goals you set for yourself without even trying. First of all, they have their struggles just like you and probably are jealous of many of your accomplishments (yes you have many accomplishments – promise), and second, that’s their path. It’s not yours. And just because they reached certain milestones before you did doesn’t mean you won’t get there, too. There are enough houses, marriages, dogs, money, cars, jobs, and vacations to go around. There is enough out there for you if you continue to try. So just do what feels right! Take your time! Revel in the now, and enjoy the fact that where you are is exactly where you need to be.
2. Struggling Between “Have to” and “Want to”
So, here are some realities about adulting:
You have to pay the rent
You have to eat food
You have to pay taxes
You have to have health insurance (for real or else you get fined)
You have to pay for gas or ubers or bikes or cabs or whatever
Ya. It sucks. But you hafta.
But what if you hate your job? Or you hate your apartment? Or pretty much everything? Eeesh.
One major problem with adulting is struggling with the distinction between obligations and unnecessary evils. The truth is, adulting doesn’t mean being miserable. But it does involve adjusting to a lot of new responsibilities. Yes, you have to have a job that pays the bills. But that’s all – you don’t have to have a job you hate. There are plenty of ways to make money. And the best part is, more than likely you have way less responsibilities now than you will in five, ten, or fifteen years. You can wait tables, drive for Lyft, nanny, work retail, or do a lot of other things that allow you to spend time working on projects you love. As long as you are covering your obligations and bills, you’re good.
Yes, it’s good to set a great foundation for yourself. But is making money really the only way to do that? Of course not. Plus who’s to say honing your special talents and spending time doing more untraditional things (think: traveling) won’t pay off in the future? You are a living, breathing investment. So treat yourself as such.
The other plus side to this adulting thing, is that it also comes with the power to choose how you spend your time. So once you go through your obligations – rent, groceries, insurance, gas, loans, debt, and any other miscellaneous necessities – you get to decide what you do for the rest of the day. Strapping yourself down with a million obligations is no way to live life. So live a little.
3. Figuring Out Finances
Sooo along with paying the bills and handling your obligations, you also have to decide what to do with the rest…which can be daunting. Do you spend the money on some exercise classes, or a night out on the town? Does your bonus go towards a new outfit for work, or bottomless mimosas at Sunday brunch? Decisions, decisions.
You’ve heard this before: sometimes you gotta spend money, to make money. So where you spend your money has a pretty big influence on how you enjoy your twenty something years.
Now, you don’t necessarily have to invest every dime you have into something that will make monetary gains. Like we mentioned before, this isn’t all about money. But it is important to invest your money into yourself in order to get a return on your happiness.
So draw a circle right now, and start segmenting off the areas where you spend your money. Make sure the slices of the circle represent the overall percentage of how you spend. Come up with categories such as “clothing”/”entertainment”/”loans”/”bills”/”rent”/”food”. Look at the breakdown. Do you like what you see?
If you aren’t spending any money on things that make you a better version of yourself – it’s time to reassess your spending habits. Where is your fitness budget? Your physical health budget? Your mental health budget? (hi!) Your education budget? Are you actively investing in who you are as a person and your overall happiness? Yes, with adulting comes budgetary decisions – but make sure not to ignore yourself in the process.
4. Keeping a Solid Support System
The struggle is beyond real.
Maintaining our fabulous friendships that we did such a good job cultivating in high school and in college for some reason seems borderline impossible the second we start to properly adult. Where does our time go? Where does our energy go? Where do our friends go?!?!
It is brutally important not to isolate yourself during the adulting years. It might feel like everyone else is totally owning this whole adulting thing – but you’d be surprised how difficult this time is for everyone. And wouldn’t it be nice to have someone to bitch to who totally gets it? You know it.
It’s understandable – you’re tired after work. You don’t have the energy to make the phone call or join the happy hour. Plus money is tight and plane tickets are expensive! Allowing your friendships to slip doesn’t make you a horrible person – but it does put you in a rather compromising situation. Support is absolutely necessary to being a fully functioning adult. We need each other to push through this awkward phase! So make the effort. Pick up the phone. Fly Southwest. Whatever it takes, hang onto those relationships.
And…if you need some extra support that comes in the form of professional life coaching….you know where to find us. Wink wink.
5. Dating for Keeps
Woof. What pressure.
It was easy to not take dating too seriously in high school or college. That was the time to experiment, find out what works for you, and meet new people. It wasn’t for finding THE ONE and settling down! No way! You were wayyyyyyyyy too young for that. And now….
Well. Now you are kinda taking it seriously. Eeek.
It’s not like you have to get married tomorrow – but it’s probably time to start dating people who are right for you. Or, at least better for you. You’re done dating those people who don’t treat you well or bring out an anxious side of you. You’re over wondering if they’re actually into it or not. Games are so yesterday! It’s immature and frankly, it’s a waste of your time. But, it’s such a struggle to find that balance between getting to know yourself and enjoying your independence, while also taking dating pretty seriously.
Here’s our take on it: The key is not to focus so much on dating – the key is to focus on yourself. In order to break your cycle and start dating people who bring out your best self, you need to be acquainted with who your best self actually is. Makes sense – but it can be a bit tricky. Honing in on who you are takes work, patience, and a lot of focused effort. And it might involve others getting involved (hey girl hey). But above all, when dating, you have to assess how YOU feel. Don’t focus on what they think about you – focus on how you feel when you’re with them. Are you tense? Happy? Anxious? Nervous? Excited? Stressed? Check in with yourself. Because the right person for you is going to be the one who makes you feel like you’re home.
If you can relate to the struggles of adulting – we’re the girls for you. We’ve coached hundreds of girls through their quarter life crisis, and we can’t wait to coach you through yours. Come join us today!
photo: Ryan McGuire