This past year has been a whirlwind. From starting my first full-time job to getting married to experiencing the loss of loved ones and figuring out what is most important to me, I have grown so much personally and professionally. For this post, I wanted to share some of the life lessons I have learned/continued to learn and embrace. Adulting doesn’t always have to bad. In fact, it’s shown me some of my own strengths and has challenged me to see the good.
1. It’s Okay Not to Have a Plan
I have a plan for just about everything. Lists and planners are my best friends. I find comfort in planning events and coordinating logistics. Why? Because I am in control. I put pen to paper or text to screen and make visions become a reality. I can think of the “what ifs” and plan for them, I can color code and file, but the reality is… you don’t always need a plan. My whole life I have immersed myself in creating to-do lists and obsessing over what planner to use (I still do), but more recently I have learned that sometimes it is okay to not have a plan. It’s okay if every detail of your day off from work isn’t planned. It’s okay if you still don’t know exactly where you want to be in 5 to 10 years. It’s also okay if your plan changes. There have been a handful of times I have hoped for one outcome and another one arises, but the world hasn’t ended and I’ve learned that I can be adaptable and flexible. I can flow with the ocean instead of fighting against the waves. Sometimes you need to just “be.”
2. Own Your Space & Just Be You
Time is far too precious a commodity to focus on what you are not and compare yourself to others. One of my favorite quotes is one by Edward Everett Hale: “I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.” This past year I have had a lot of time to really look at who I am, what I value, and what matters most to me. With the prevalence of social media, it’s incredibly easy to feel the pressure to compare yourself to others, but you’re on your own path, not someone else’s. Own your space. I have become more comfortable being the awkward and corny person that I am and I’m not worried if someone else approves of that or not. At the end of the day, you’re you! The best thing you can do is just be you.
3. Car Insurance Is Worth It
I use to be one of those people that would complain and say, “Why is car insurance so expensive? It’s so much money just going nowhere.” Boy, do I take that back! 2016 was rough for my car (her name is Bennie). Bennie started 2016 off strong, but 4th of July weekend I was headed home on the turnpike in a really terrible storm, got off an exit early and proceeded to skid off the ramp, ripping apart the front end of my car and puncturing my radiator. Thankfully, I was fine and no one was hurt, but Bennie took a beating. My husband and I have awesome car insurance which saved us sooo much in repair costs. I was without a car for a little while, but all things considered… we were grateful. Fast forward four months later and Bennie got hit on the front end by a drunk driver while the car was parked at a work event my husband was attending. Our car insurance once again saved the day and Bennie got yet another face lift. Once again our insurance saved us. Never will I ever complain about paying our insurance again.
4. Once a Student, Always a Student
One of the challenges I faced in the last year was adjusting to a new lifestyle where I was no longer a student. An identity I had carried around almost my entire life was now encased in two frames that hung in my office. No more student clubs and events. I was on to the world of being on the other side of it all. Not going to lie, I actually missed going to class the first few months post graduation. I even missed having homework. I realized that I missed learning something new, and that’s why I say once a student, always a student. I didn’t have to be degree seeking to seek new knowledge. I relished in the fact that I could choose what I wanted to read. I even explored free online courses just to see what was out there. I’m even planning to take a Cake Decorating class this month just because I want to learn. Never stop learning!
5. Having an Awesome Support System is Essential
Life is full of brilliance, but sometimes you encounter days where you’re faced with a challenge you didn’t expect. It is in those moments that I find that having friends and family to talk to and be with is essential. One of my core values is relationships. A priority of mine is to invest in the relationships I build because I know I’m not in this alone. This past year I’ve had so much to celebrate and I’ve also had a lot to process and handle outside of that. Through the good and the bad, having those around me was part of what kept me going on even the most challenging days. My husband, my family, my friends, my colleagues all play an integral part in this. Know who you identify as your support system. Having those individuals can make the most difficult moments bearable. Not every day will be as challenging, not every situation a crisis, but be sure to continue to nurture those relationships you have.
This list is ever evolving and expanding as I am constantly growing and learning. This thing called “adulting” isn’t so bad after all.