At thirty years old, I finally identify as an adult. Yes, you read that right… It took a long decade for me to come to terms with the fact that I was no longer a teen, despite not feeling like a grown-up. However, looking back, there are so many reasons why I never really felt like I had crossed over.
Whether or not you are an avid Hallmark movie-binger, I am certain there are a few things you envisioned about adulthood that weren’t quite portrayed correctly. After all, we are all dreamers. So if you haven’t crossed that line yet, don’t fall prey to the illusion. Let me share some things that I have found to be not so exciting and hopefully prepare you for that aha (or ugh-ugh) moment that is sure to come.
Living in your own house is the ultimate dream
Whether you buy a house or choose to rent, living away from the bird’s nest is definitely something exciting. I remember living under my father’s roof and longing for the day that I would be able to decorate my house to my liking. Those old-school figurines he had on the tables would not be replicated in my fort. Those extravagant, black-out drapes were to be replaced with very subdued and minimal, sheer curtains. Ah, and the kitchen would not be hidden away in the back of the house. Rather, it would be open to the living areas so that my kids could help me cook as we watched cartoons.
Such a dream to look forward to.
Fast forward a few decades, several apartments and a kid later, I got my wish. My house is designed and decorated to my liking and everything reflects my character. But the cleaning and maintenance come at a price.
Living alone is fun until you have to clean up after yourself. If something breaks, your parents aren’t going to fix it. If your house gets an infestation, you’re going to have to figure it out. Hopefully, you have the funds to back you up!
Being an adult means working a real job
If you live in the US, you probably started earning cash quite early in life either babysitting, cutting grass, or working part-time in a store. While those are real jobs, the greatest appeal of being a grown-up is actually getting a job that gives you medical aid, gives you enough to pay rent and buy some fancy things.
I remember being fifteen years old and yearning for some income. I was under the illusion that it would be fun and give me some independence. Well, luckily for me, I only got my first gig as a waitress at twenty, then three years later I was fully immersed in corporate.
So how do I like working a ‘real’ job now?
Well, let’s just say that payday is lovely. Bonuses are bliss… but the actual hours? Doing your taxes? Dealing with office politics? Losing your personal freedom? Yeah… no. Now that I have dipped my toes, knees and body into this working thing, I must admit that it is one of my least favourite aspects of being an adult. And don’t be fooled by the “if you find a job you love, you’ll never work a day in your life” nonsense. If you are working for someone else, there will be downfalls. And if you work for yourself, you will work 24/7.
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What also goes hand in hand with being an adult is having to manage your finances. If you are lucky enough, you don’t really need to know what the price of milk is in different stores. You won’t have to think twice about choosing organic, and you may even get to eat out several times a week. Plus, you get to qualify for credit!
However, if you don’t play your cards right, you will end up living pay check to pay check.
Handling finances isn’t the hardest thing to do, but couple that with this unlimited freedom and you could end up drowning. And if you don’t drown, you’ve still got to keep up with the admin. As an adult, I absolutely hate doing my taxes… So much so that my husband does them for me! I also don’t like to pay the bills, and often remember when it is too late. And the school fees? Car maintenances? Ugh…
Honestly, it always feels that no matter how much more you make, there will always be something that dents your finances.
Being an adult means you get to start your own family
Are you one of those people that gushes over baby pictures? Or perhaps one who loves to watch wedding and proposal videos? If that’s you, I feel you in my spirit. That was pretty much the most exciting part of growing wings for me. Or rather, the perception I had of leaving the nest. Falling in love, having cute babies, traveling the world… What a lovely life I had ahead of me.
Well, dear friends, I hate to burst that bubble. Think about how many selfies you have to take before you post on social media. Then multiply that by each day of the year, because that is how many times you will get it wrong before you get it right. Love is definitely a beautiful thing, but it comes with compromise, patience-testing and self improvement.
Babies are cute, but they get sick, they leave you sleep-deprived, and are expensive. Traveling as a family is fun, but you also have the hassle of coordinating and keeping the little ones entertained.
Take it from me, even the most perfect families have their own issues.
But let’s hear from you. What are some of the most annoying aspects of being an adult? What did you dream it to be?
Pssst! Let’s hang on social media!