As mentioned in Episode 3 of 'Sipping Tea with Tula', I created this blog post a couple years ago. I thought I'd repost it incase you wanted the full read :-) Part 2 coming soon!
Though I am no official philosopher, scholar, psychologist, social analyst (or whatever qualification it is you need to share things like this) I’ve officially been an adult for at least 11 years now depending on when you mark the start of adulthood, so I thought today I’d share a few things from my own experience of adulting. Please note, these points are compiled from what happens in my own world, your accounts may be different…
1. It’s not what you expect!!
I remember when I was but a teen and 30+ seemed like a lifetime away. From that angle, being an adult looked so serious and responsible. I always thought that when I got to this point I would be like [insert description of what I am not], I would have [insert what I don’t have] and I would do [insert what I don’t do]. Basically, nobody can plan what adult life will be like. We can try and some bits we’ll probably get right but I’ve learnt not everything goes to plan, it’s not always supposed to, and that’s ok.
2. It’s ok/necessary to be childish from time to time.
In my opinion one of the faults in our adulting is that our expectations of being an adult are just way too high. I once watched a programme where a woman was mad at her husband because he was playful. He jumped on the climbing apparatus when they walked their son through the park and in her opinion that’s not what adults do, he should’ve left that in his childhood… But why not though? In amongst all the serious, deep and sad stuff we have to adult our way through every day, we need a few moments every now and then to remember what it is to laugh and not have cares. Go to an arcade, visit a theme park, jump on a trampoline, laugh at something stupid. It’s not “every day serious and deep”. It’s ok and actually necessary to let your hair down, laugh at yourself a bit and do things that are unrelated to the responsible stuff.
3. Your social scenery will and must change.
I said to a friend recently “we’re cool now but in a few years time, we may not be this close”. This isn’t because I foresee any issues in us being friends but just because I’ve recognised that part of growing up means my social scenery has changed over the years. I had friends in my early teens that I would’ve considered my BFFs! We told each other what we’d do when we got older, we confirmed each other as bridesmaids for each others weddings, we also confirmed ourselves as Godparents for each others children. We’re at the stage now where these things could actually happen and real talk, I don’t even know what their current phone numbers are. Sometimes we grow in different directions. That doesn’t mean anyone’s fallen out, it doesn’t mean we don’t care about each other anymore, it doesn’t mean that if we met up tomorrow we wouldn’t buss joke like back in the day. It’s just their adult journey went that way and mine went this way. That’s also ok!
4. Adult “aches and pains” are a real thing!!
Due to me growing up and choosing certain jobs and hobbies I have developed a small selection of aches, pains and clicky joints to match. As a result I’ve had to do things I didn’t have to do before like book massages for business (not just pleasure), buy exercise tools for relieving muscle tension and make regular appointments with the chiropractor. These were not things I thought about in my teens as I was more active and my body functioned a little better then. By year 10 in school (14-15 years old) I was probably 1 out of about 5 girls in my school year group that didn’t bunk P.E lessons or use “that time of the month” as a weekly excuse to sit out of sports. (How many periods did these teachers think girls could have??!) I actually really enjoyed it. That being the case, my body was in pretty good shape and was quite resilient. These days my exercise of choice is jogging and that happens every once in a while in warmer months… simply put, not very often. I can still run quite fast for buses but I feel like death is upon me when I catch it. Because I’ve had to spend more time taking care of the responsible things in life, I’ve neglected my health and physical well-being. Now that I’m getting older and the limbs are not exactly as supple, new and strong as they once were, I need to put a little more effort into taking care of them… So now that’s said, I have to decide what day I’ll be going for my next run. Oh dear Tulee...
5. You never stop learning
I think babies are incredibly smart! They can’t talk, walk or discuss politics when they first leave the womb, but think about all their development in just their first year of life. After exiting the womb and literally being able to do nothing, by their first birthday (depending of course on their own personal growth and ability) they have likely learnt to eat and drink, hold things, recognise people, recognise sounds, stand and/or walk with a little help or independently. They’ve figured out how to roll over, how to get attention when they need something, create sounds that are on the way to being words, sit up on their own, in some cases climb out of their cot, feel and express varied emotions and more. Somehow when we’re adults we feel that we know so much when really, many of us have stopped learning. What was the last skill you learnt? The last hobby you picked up? The last educational pursuit? It shouldn’t matter how old we are. As long as we are physically and mentally able, we need to keep trying to learn new things and keep our minds fresh! We must in all areas, be teachable.
6. Trying hard to appear unnaturally youthful is not cute.
Some adults are naturally quite young at heart. Others are not and that too is ok. What we need to do is stop trying to be “down”, “hip”, and “in” with young people. It’s good to know some of their lingo so we can understand what in the world they’re even saying when they talk, but when we try to know these things to avoid feeling out of the loop or looking old, it’s actually very awkward to watch. In my general circle of friends, not everybody is like me. Some are more posh than I am, some like things I’m not into, some use phrases I don’t use and know things I can’t dream of understanding. These too, are all ok. I don’t think that in order for younger people to relate to us we have to be the same as them. I believe connection is more about being willing and open to understanding others rather than trying to mimic them.
I’ll pause here for now and gather my thoughts. I’ll share part 2 soon. Till then, happy adulting... :-)