'Adulting is awesome'
One of my biggest pet peeves is when somebody uses the word ďadultingĒ to describe completing a task like paying the bills on time or making a list for the grocery store. Most often, people use it in a negative way.
You know what Iím talking about. Youíve seen the T-shirts and mugs and bumper stickers that say something along the lines of, ďI hate adulting,Ē or ďI canít adult today.Ē Itís understandable coming from a brand-new high school graduate or college student, but Iíve noticed that very grown adults have adopted the word into their vocabulary, too. I just donít understand it.
Maybe Iím a weirdo, but I get a ton of gratification from taking care of business. I love when the bills are paid and the pantry is full. Even as a teenager, I loved going grocery shopping. It made me feel so grown up to slash items off my momís list and pay for everything, even if I was using her credit card. It felt good to be productive, to feel like I was contributing. In hindsight, I was very clearly playing house.
Thatís why I was so excited to move to Eureka Springs six years ago ó how has it already been six years? When we spent the first night in our apartment, I remember feeling so terrified and so happy at the exact same time. Gideon and I had less than $1,000, a futon, a mattress and a small kitchen table. That was it. We had next to nothing, but it felt like everything. It felt like the beginning of something big.
My family helped us out here or there during the first few years and we will always be thankful for that. Still, I knew that we had to rely on ourselves in the long run so we might as well start doing that as soon as possible. Iíll never forget the thrill of paying our first regular monthís rent. It took half of my paycheck and I happily handed it over.
ďWe are doing this,Ē I told Gideon. ďWe can do this!Ē
For so long, I didnít think I was capable of doing much anything. Taking the plunge meant I didnít have time to think about it. I had to do it, no matter how ready I felt. There were times early on when I didnít think we were going to make it here, but we just kept making it anyway. Itís all about taking a deep breath, putting one foot in front of the other and trudging through regardless of the terrain.
I suppose thatís why Iím so put off when someone says they donít want to do any ďadulting.Ē We canít grow unless we embrace it. The daily minutiae of adult life can be a drag sometimes, but thereís so much freedom in completing those small tasks. Returning from the grocery store with a trunk full of supplies and a tank full of gas reminds me that I can do this. Paying off my student loans faster than expected frees up energy to focus on other things like saving up for a down payment on a home.
Gideon and I arenít rich or even upper middle class, but weíve made a real adult life together that I wouldnít trade for anything in the world. Weíve filled our home with professional certifications, art, photos, used furniture and six years of wonderful memories. I love being an adult. I love knowing how to live below our means to set us up for a better future and help out some of our favorite nonprofits in Carroll County.
Not everyone has the same means of getting by and I fully understand that. If youíre like us and you never doubt where your next meal is coming from or that the bills will be paid on time, I hope you feel grateful instead of frustrated. Being an adult who can do what is expected of you is a blessing. I am thankful for the independent women who raised me to be independent and for the knowledge that some of us donít get to choose how independent we are.
If you are one of those people who lives on their own terms, I hope you feel fortunate. ďAdultingĒ is hard, but it is so worth it.