My 21st birthday is fast approaching, and I’m feeling a little bitter-sweet about it. I am excited because the big two-one represents a shift into a new chapter of my life, but I’m also feeling dubious because the whole adulting thing still doesn’t come super naturally. Sure, I can drive a car WITHOUT P PLATES (#maturity) and am classified as responsible enough to vote in an election, but I still don’t know how to lodge a tax return, and I always find myself wondering if the chicken is really cooked yet? So this had me really pondering – am I a real adult? How do I become one? Is my life a lie?
To me, adulthood has the same air of mystery and magic as motherhood. How do mums know where you left your glasses? Who teaches them how to sew? At what points can adults make their own appointments on the phone (*shudders*) and not having a mild anxiety attack? When do you gain the self control to not binge watch netflix until 3am?
The truth is, I do not know. I cannot inform you. So, instead, I thought I could share 20 pieces of wisdom I have learned in my two decades of roamin’.
- A cup of tea can fix anything
I got 99 problems, but I’m convinced I would have 100 if I did not drink tea. Trust me on this one ladies and gents, take up tea drinking and watch your problems fade away .
- If you’re on the fence about taking a coat, take it.
I will take a coat if it’s the middle of summer and mildly breezy. And you know what? NO REGRETS. Being cold always makes for a shit time, do not do it to yourself.
- Mum always knows best
There have been many times when I insisted that she did not, and every time I have eaten my words. Think of that old friend who you thought was your BFFL and turned out to be downright nasty – I BET your mum knew from the get go.
- Do the worst thing first
This can be applied to so many things. Housework, studying, working out – once the thing you dread most is out of the way, it’s all uphill.
- Write to-do lists
I am a firm believer in lists for everything. If you have 3 things or 300 things to do, writing them down and ticking them off as you go is so damn satisfying. Look at you go, doing all these things. This is best applied in conjunction with point 4.
- Eating is NOT cheating
Drinking on and empty stomach is never, ever, ever a good idea. Just trust me on this one.
- Take time for yourself
So simple, but so important. Even 10 minutes a day, to have a cuppa and read a book, or watch some YouTube, or go to the gym – it is important to nourish yourself so you do not burn out.
- Do not wear red lipstick without a lipliner
Red lipstick is the perfect addition to any outfit, especially if the desired effect is to be a bad bitch. But, to be fierce, it must be on fleek. Do not risk lipstick on teeth or chins – line those lips people!
- Your lowest points do not define you
We all have those moments, or do those things, that make us want to take a boiling shower and scrub our skin off. They do not define you – move on, and do not over-analyse.
- When people show you who they really are, believe them
This is some very important advice my mum gave me, and it’s certainly some of the best. Do not make excuses for people, just accept who they are and move on.
- Do not give people health advice for conditions you do not have
Seriously. You don’t know their circumstances or struggles, do not suggest the naturopath/vegan diet/fish oil/yoga. Just don’t.
- Play the sims at least once
This is self explanatory. It’s great, IT’S NOT JUST FOR KIDS, and real adults totally still play it, okay?
- If you are in a position of privilege, acknowledge that
If you are White/cisgender/straight/male/thin – that is okay, but ensure you are aware it makes your life easier. A little recognition goes a long way in this world.
- Do not wear kitten heels
This is a very strong personal opinion, and I strongly believe it should be strictly adhered to. Just do heels or flats, the in between is not necessary, it’s awkward, and it is NOT cute.
n.b. You can be excused if you’re a mum over the age of 40 and have arthritis or a similar condition that impedes your comfort. This is the one and only exception.
- Watch Veronica Mars
Definitely a TV show that shaped who I am today to a high degree. Aaaah V Mars.. one of the baddest bitches to ever grace our screens. Do yourselves a favour if you haven’t watched it.
- Love yourself
Life is too hard to deal with if you are not proud of who you are as a person. Change the things you are not happy with, and work to be content with the rest.
- Demand respect
Do not allow people to speak down to you or put you in positions that are uncomfortable. If you demand respect from point A, people will learn not to take advantage of you.
- Kale is disgusting
I don’t care how healthy you are, you do NOT need to put that shit in your mouth.
- Do not put relationships above friendships
This is never worth it in the end. Nourishing romantic relationships is important, but it is equally important to make time for you friends and ensure they know you’re still you, and you’re still there.
- Listening is a skill
Sometimes people do not need advice, or a response, or a joke – they just need you listen and truly hear what they are saying.
I may not be able to do my taxes or avoid burning chicken out of fear of salmonella, but hey, as long as I can watch VMars with a cuppa in one hand and a lip liner in the other, I think I’m gonna be A-Okay.