“In contrast to a ‘minor’, a legal adult is a person who has attained the age of majority and is therefore regarded as independent, self-sufficient, and responsible. The typical age of attaining legal adulthood is 18, although definition may vary by legal rights and country.” (Wikipedia)
Whoever was telling me that age 18 is the one that marks your adulthood was wrong (aka my culture and the Romanian laws). Here I am, three years later, I turned 21 last week and since then my mind is a rushing river of revelations, thoughts, and understandings about the idea of being an adult. I realized that this is not happening in the blink of an eye (as I thought when I turned 18), but it’s a process filled with teachings from the challenges, surprises, and though reminders life is constantly sending us. In this process, oftentimes I found myself in the child mode, reacting to some of life’s happenings according to my emotions, letting them overpower my intelligence and control. Now that I am aware of this, I am working towards living my life on adult mode.
I had enough time to contemplate on everything on my flight back home and you know already: travels are probably the most inspiring thing that can happen to me. Besides making five new friends (IT’S ALWAYS HAPPENING TO ME), I spent my time writing a lot in my journal. I wanted to share some of the reflections with you all, and, even if they might be very straightforward, I hope they will inspire you in your journey of becoming an adult. We’re all in this together!
“It takes courage to grow up and become who you really are.” – E. E. Cummings
Stop acting like you are entitled. When we behave in a childlike manner, we have the impression that the whole world is ours, and that we are entitled to have anything we want, at the time we want it. Truth is, it’s nobody’s business to fulfill your needs. As an adult, you should never ask, demand, or have the impression that it’s someone else’s business to give you what you want. Want something? Go get it. Work for it. Be proactive, don’t just sit and wait, or blame others for it. You have full responsibility for your life now, time to leave the “special treatment” attitude back in the past.
Every person has their own struggles. Just like you, everyone else is human! Everyone is going through the same fears, problems, situations, worries, emotional states. When you are acting as an adult, you are aware of this, and you work on facing your challenges directly and not depending on others, complaining to others, or acting as if you are victimized by life. You are depending on no one but you, dealing with your own situations, and realizing that everyone has the same struggles. Also, when you learn how to listen to your gut instinct, you will realize that the best person to rely on concerning your life decisions is you.
Act in a rational manner. I have recently come across a powerful quote that has so much value for me, saying: “No matter the situation, never let your emotions overpower your intelligence.” (source unknown) It’s funny because I found it right after behaving like a child in a situation in my life, and it immediately put me back on the right track. When you let your actions be guided by your feelings, you lose sight of the bigger picture and of the reality of the situation. Instead, when you take a step back and act according to your intellect, you are able to take better decisions that will lead to a much better and healthier outcome for your life. I started being better at recognizing emotional triggers, and every time I experience them, I find an excuse to take a break, leave the space I’m currently in just to be by myself and analyze the situation in a smart way.
Keep your ego in check. This one is dangerous. How many times are your actions lead by your need of attention and recognition? How many times are you doing things just to feed your ego? The more you do it, the more it wants it. Just like a child screaming for attention, acting from an ego-driven state hinders your potential and distances you from your adulting process. What I’ve been doing was to check the things I’m doing from an ego perspective, and pull from a different place. Instead of focusing on what my ego wants, I put my attention on what my heart desires, and then act according to it. Eventually you will feel much more fulfilled and aligned with your true self.
Design the life you love and take responsibility for it. Even if I had all these revelations, I still came back home and started complaining to my parents and brother about certain decisions in my life, as if they have power over it, as if they know better how I should live it. Truth is, they don’t. They can have opinions on it, but it’s again my responsibility to design my journey the way I want it, aligned with my passions and the things that make me happy. Therefore, what I did was take time for myself, and map out the way my life looks right now, in order to find the things that fulfill me and the things that don’t, recreate it, and express it better. This book is my guide in the process of designing my life, and I totally recommend it. It awakens your creativity, right brain, and it gives you a new POV on your life.
Do what makes you happy and let others do what makes them happy. This is pretty much my new life philosophy. At the end of the day, I think everything summarizes to this simple idea. It’s not your obligation to make others happy, but it’s your obligation to make yourself happy. By spending your days doing things that align with your values, fulfill your soul, and you feel passionate about, you can live in a beautiful state every day no matter what. If you feel like there is a discrepancy between your actions and your values, change something. Rebuild the way you live your life. As an adult, you have the power to do that. Isn’t this amazing? When you manage to live according to what makes you happy, and let others to the same, I would say you pretty much win at life.
At 18, I thought that was my time to become mature enough. At 20, I thought the same. Now I’m 21, thinking about the teachings of this year, and I can’t even imagine how much I am going to learn in the next couple years! Truth is, life is made of teachings, and we are constantly learning. That’s how we know we are growing, evolving, turning into a better person each day and each year. If you feel like you have outgrown situations, thinking patterns, or even people, then you are on the right track. Adulting is hard, but it’s your choice to make it worth it and become the person you’ve secretly always wanted to be. That doesn’t mean I lose my inner child, but I choose to let my inner child be seen in the way I live my life: creatively, and with a lot of passion.
I know this was a really long and insightful post, but if it inspired at least one person I’m happy! Would love to hear your opinions on my reflections in the comment section below. Don’t forget: life is beautiful, go out there and enjoy it!
See you soon, and till then, I will enjoy my time spent in Bucharest, alongside my family and friends, doing everything I missed so much, such as driving around the city, going to good coffee shops, partying all night, eating granny’s delicious food, and making fun of friends haha! ❤
Lots of love,