8 Things I Wish I Knew About Adulthood Before Becoming An Adult
I remember myself being so adamant about turning 18 and then 21, and even 30. I thought life as an adult would be so easy. I didn't understand how someone could work almost 40 hours a week and still not have money to go out or pay all of their bills on time (be honest, you have skipped or failed to pay a bill entirely before). I also didn't understand why it was so hard to just have fun as an adult. But now that I am one, I understand what my parents were trying to get me to understand. If I could go back in time, here are 8 things I wish I would have known before rushing my childhood:
1. Making friends as an adult is hard
Growing up, making friends was so easy to do. If you had a jump rope and girls in the neighborhood wanted to play, you played jump rope and before you knew it, you all had created a friendship of some sort. But now, as an adult, I have the hardest time trying to find people who I don't mind calling up to go out to eat or see a movie. It's sad that as adults we're settling into our identities and the whole "I don't have time for this" or "that" is starting to become the only thing we know how to say.
Even more, it is difficult trying to find someone who wants to live life. I feel that the only true and good friend I have is my fiance, who is willing to do just about anything I want to do. On the other hand, there were times where I had to sacrifice my enjoyment and happiness because a person didn't want to do something. Making friends isn't the problem, it's building relationships with people and knowing who will make decent deposits into your life and not take away from who you are and your character.
2. Bills are real - so is rent
I always imagined having my own place, paying bills on time, and being able to do what I want to do, but now that I am in this position I kinda wish I didn't rush childhood. Having bills is part of being an adult, but of course I now dread having to dedicate a good portion of my paycheck to making sure I have the necessities taken care of. At times I want to go online and shop or even buy something that will help me when it comes to blogging, but first I have to check my expenses and make sure I'm not spending money that has to go to something like a bill or necessity.
3. Free time doesn't mean "free"
Can adults even have free time? My answer is yes, yes they can, if they make time. Right now, as a 24 year old with no children I have a lot of free time, but that doesn't mean I have the opportunity to just sit on the couch all day; okay, I'm lying, I do have more than enough time to sit on the couch and watch movies, but I try not to. I still have a day job and during my free time, I get up and move around, make calls, run errands, get my non-negotiable tasks done so my fiance isn't mad at me when he comes home. I do, however, do most of my blogging on the couch. Most of my "free" time is in the morning before my fiance gets up and start his day, so I use this time to get my blogging tasks complete. What I don't finish I try to set aside time in the evening for, but even during the evening I try to relax on the couch and watch TV.
4. Saving money is a necessity
"You think money grows on trees?" This was the famous line my parents would say to me and my siblings every time we had our hands out asking for money. I now know how important it is to save. Each and every time I get my paycheck I try to save something even if it's 5 dollars. I don't have the best paying job nor does my family have a lot of money so saving isn't an option, it's a necessity. Right now, I'm practicing what was suggested by Justin Shiels of My Creative Lab. In a recent email, Justin explained briefly that the easiest way to save money is to stop making it, but that's impossible to do, so saving is the next best option. He suggested putting aside 10% of every paycheck before you pay bills or other expenses. I've tried this for two of my paychecks and for some reason I actually ended up having enough money to pay bills and save 10%. Something I thought I couldn't do on my small salary.
5. Shopping trips aren't fun anymore
I was never the shop to your drop girl, but I do love trips to the mall or spending all day in downtown Philly shopping. But, I'm not that excited about going shopping like I used to when I was spending my parents money. Now, I do a lot of window shopping and if I do buy something I make it a mission to wear it as much as possible. I'm an H&M girl so shopping isn't that expensive, but if you catch me in H&M long enough I can definitely walk out with 80 - 100$+ in clothing.
6. The amount of taxes that come out of your paycheck is real
My first job at 13, I was excited to make 200+ dollars after taxes as a camp counselor. I thought it was cool being able to get paid that much 2-3 times a month for the summer and that was my idea of "getting paid". Now, I look back and realize that no adult can survive on that salary. Fast forward 11 years later and I still feel discouraged knowing that I put in X amount of hours at work only to get paid less than a 1/3, if that, of my worth and seeing most of it distributed to certain taxes.
7. My bed will be my best friend
When I was younger I wanted to stay up late and as I got older staying out late was something that I always wanted to do, and did, especially in college. There was a time where I could stay out until 2AM and still get enough sleep to wake up in time for class, but now, I would feel like a zombie if I did it. I have never loved any item so much other than my bed. I love going to sleep in it, waking up under nice warm covers, and of course feeling disappointed because I have to get up. But, after a long day, I can't wait to get back home to my bed.
8. I'll become my parents
As a teenager, I went against my parents. Not that I was rebellious, contrary to popular belief about teenagers, but because I thought I knew it all. I thought my parents didn't know a thing about being a teen or growing up. Yet, now I'm an adult I see the same cycle being repeated. When I interact with teenagers today they look at me as if I was born last night, as if I don't know what they're talking about or going through. I even find myself saying the same things my parents would say to me and doing things they would do. I sometimes stop myself and realize that my parents were only trying to help me and like they used to say, "you're not going to understand it now, but later you will."