Why did I ever fantasized about being a grown up? Is it because I wanted to have my own things? or be free to sleep late? or I wanted to wear red lipstick? Well, I don't want it anymore, give me back my childhood, adolescent and teenage years.
I remember when I was at the University, I thought I was an adult and nobody could tell me anything. Maybe except my parents, I mean they were financing my life. But still, I was eating dinner at 1am in the morning, watching movies till I could not keep my eyes open and I was thinking it was adulting. Anytime I tell my older siblings who are married with kids about how much adulting sucks, they laugh at me because apparently, the scam has not even started in their opinion. They said "wait till a little human comes and takes control of all of your house, your money and your time. That is when the real adulting starts."😭😭
So is everyone saying this whole life is a big SCAM? Yes, they are and I agree! I want to go on a vacation to Greece but my account balance and my boss won't let me travel. Something about not having enough money saved to afford a luxury trip and I haven't been confirmed at work so I am not entitled to paid leave. This is a good time for the summer breaks like I enjoyed in secondary school and Univerisity days and vacation sponsored by other people.
Why am I ranting about adulting again? Well, its cause my birthday is in 2 days! I am going to be 24 years old. Yes, you read it right I am turning 24. It shocking to me as well. I feel like I have been on this earth for about 30 years all to check my birth certificate disputing that fact. I still called to ask my mum to confirm my birthday because I feel like I am such an old soul trapped in a millennial's body. In my 24 years on earth, I have achieved quite a lot that I'm so thankful for. I mean many of you are probably saying why is this smallie complaining about adulting, you don't know anything! Well, don't invalidate my adult struggles because I am not as old as you are. It is a process we all go through and never fully understand.
So growing pains are a real deal, you have to figure out financial management, career advancement, managing your mental health and many more. Here are some ideas to help you, adult, gracefully;
- Be grateful always; The phase that you are at may not be where you envisioned your life to be, however you have to remain grateful for that phase. Appreciate every chapter in your life, from the broke boy/girl you were to the gentleman or lady with a little cash. Those phases have played a role in making you who you are today. Even if things are not going the best way you think they should, remain grateful and celebrate the in great future ahead of you.
- Pay yourself; The best time to start a savings and investment plan is when you get your first job. I know the money is really little but if you add savings to the plan for your monthly income, it becomes structured and non-negotiable. After you pay your tithe, you have to pay yourself (your future self). To learn more about financial management, check this out.
- Think of a career path; Many times our first jobs are not what we envisioned for ourselves. You wanted to be a political analyst but you ended up at a Bank, I'm sorry but #thisisnigeria. If you are still passionate about politics start making waves on social media with your opinions. Over the weekend, find free events that you can attend just for networking. (Side note on networking; develop a relationship before asking someone for anything like a job). Whatever job you find yourself, be diligent and excellent. Something good will come out of your character and ethics. Just like Money isn’t built overnight, neither is a career. Use every opportunity you’re given to learn, grow, and stand out for all the right reasons. Soon enough you’ll get to where you want to be.
- Be patient; In your twenties, you may feel dejected because your lofty goals are not yet accomplished. You wanted to be married at 26 or be a manager at 28 but life happens. Don't beat yourself up about it, these things will fall in place. When you are in your fifties you will look back and wonder when you were so impatient with your self. Things take time, it only gets better. Extend patience to your parents, start seeing them for the imperfect humans that they are. This will really help you develop a better relationship with them.
- Develop time-bound goals; It is easy to fall into that trap of I'm done with school and I have a job, what else is there to do? Okay, let me get married...There is more to life than your first job and getting married. Example of goals are, travel to Costa Rica in 2 years (Seeing the world expands your mind in unimaginable ways) or become a supervisor in 1 year or buy my first car in 3 years or stop smoking in 6 months. Goals like this help save and plan your finances. It is okay to take another look at your goals and reevaluate them. They are not set in stone. Goals are for self-improvement and to break bad habits.
- Take care of you; You may decide to eat chocolate cake for breakfast, ice-cream for lunch and shawarma for dinner, no one will stop you. However, unhealthy habits end up costing you money that can be saved through medical bills. Make it a habit to eat good food (balanced diet), engage in physical activity, take a nap, drink water etc. Find friends that are interested in hiking or running or going to the gym. The results of caring for your mind and body are amazing. They will reflect in your general life. Free advice, protect yourself on social media. There are many things that appear to make you outraged, please block certain people and words from showing on your social media timeline. Protect your sanity jealously.
I hope these ideas help a few people adjust better to this life of scams we found ourselves. I know it has helped me and is still helping me till date. We have to take care of ourselves together so our future self will appreciate us deeply.
"From my perspective, there's no reason to be afraid of ageing, because if you age, you're lucky! The alternative is death." - Drew Barrymore