It’s nearly the end of the year. Always so much to think about during this time. Especially about everything new we have learned to take with us into the new year. Things that hopefully will make be the best people we can be. For me, I’ve been thinking a whole hell of a lot about being an adult. And the perks of being one. A greater amount of independence. More deep-rooted confidence in responsibility and decision-making. Mom and Dad telling you less of what to do from all the way across the country (sometimes). Making smarter decisions (sometimes). But really, when can one officially say that they are an adult? I’m fresh into my 28th year and I’ve grown tenfold just these past 12 months. I have realized many things about myself that I don’t think I had in me when I was 26, 27 years old. I definitely follow my gut a whole lot more now, and I am far more strong where I used to be weak because I made the wholehearted decision to work on those parts of myself. Not sure what exactly have made me become more mature in this sort of way. It’s a whole lot of things I’m sure of that, some more than others. But together certain experiences bring you closer to being the best sort of adult you can be. Not just an adult, but a smart human being.
Selflessness. I’ve always admired those around me who showcased qualities of undeniable selflessness. I’ve noticed this part of myself growing more and more recently. I’m not at the point of selflessness that say a mother would have, but my life is driven far less by just my own wants and needs, and increasingly more driven by those around me that I love and whom put others before themselves. I think it has to do with me taking more time to step back and take a look at the bigger picture of my life. The processes of it. And noticing the way I feel and am moved, especially when I am surrounded by those who who express gratitude for their lives. I see now more than ever that the most beauty is brought out in the world in this way more than anything material ever could. I have come to appreciate the types of things that I have been able to experience through my career, friendships and life in general. It feels important to me to be able to share my “gifts”. By gifts, I mean my accomplishments, my access to certain things, my freedom to pursue my biggest dreams. Sharing the things that drive me the most with others is one thing I want to do even more of this upcoming year. I want to make more of a social difference with what I do, even if it is starting with something small. The potential and possibilities are endless from a foundation that touches even just one or two people.
Not wasting my time. In my early twenties, everything was far more casual. Relationships with men. My career even. And friendships, of course. So many late nights out and being stupid for no reason. Hanging out with people just for the sake of hanging out. Scared to be lonely, so I would time after time throw myself into situations where I would be surrounded by a sea of faces and it all seemed quite okay that way. Over time, after the exhaustion and mistakes that slapped me in the face, I realized that quality over quantity was probably the better way to go. It’s true. It can reach a point where you really feel it in your bones when something isn’t substantial enough and the cycle starts to get old. And It makes you pine for something that runs deeper than the exterior. Deeper than the meaningless talks that don’t stick with you the next day. Deeper than good sex with a good looking boy you met last night who just wanted one thing from you. You begin to stop second guessing yourself because you realize that your time becomes more precious. Your life becomes more precious, and so you start to only keep close to you what feels true and real. Every second counts. Starting to understand the worth of my life, decisions and relationships is pivotal to becoming an adult. We learn this the hard way, but it’s worth it once the realization hits you and you don’t look back.
Confidence. A department that I will wholeheartedly say that I have lacked in for quite some time as a child and teenager. I’ve grown a lot since then. Experience and healthy relationships over time has helped with that a lot. My confidence still wavers today at moments, I can finally say that I have slowly but surely become the sort of person who can stand up for herself. The sort of person who when she wants something, she’ll go after it. I’m not afraid to put myself out there, because in most situations I have come to realize that really, what is there for me to lose? And I’d rather know that I failed trying than not trying at all. In relationships for example, when I was younger, I always second guessed myself. I felt that I didn’t have enough experiences to warrant a confidence that I wished I had to go after the things that I wanted. I was too afraid of being judged. Of letting people in who could take a microscope to my thoughts and inner workings. I’d push people away because I didn’t think I was ready, when really I didn’t really have to be fully ready. I thought too ahead of myself. The process of letting go and putting myself out there took a bit of time, but the more I dated, the more I knew what I liked and what I needed out of a relationship. As I lived more in the moment, the more I didn’t second guess myself. The more I became at ease with myself, that I didn’t feel I had to change for the men who would come and go from my life. The less I played games. The less I wanted to waste my time. The more I accepted my independence and even the idea that being single is a very powerful and liberating thing. But I wouldn’t close myself off to love if I found it. If I like you, you will know. If I don’t, you will know, too. I like knowing what I want, with relationships and all other aspects of my life, even if it’s after a few trials and errors. But what I like most of all is having the confidence today to just go with the feelings in my heart more often than not. It takes grown up guts to do that.
Here’s to being more adult in 2016. To paying my bills on time. To being choosier with who I decide to kiss. To being more patient. To drinking less and treating my body like a haven a little more often (baby steps). To experiencing life with a strong head on my shoulders and the greatest of friends by my side. To spreading kindness because life is too short not to. To not second guessing myself. To maybe not fully being adult because hey, we are human and we are imperfect. But to definitely trying to be an adult a whole lot more than not. Cheers to that.