Ah yes, the wonderful world of adulthood where words like “adulting” is like auditioning for an episode of American Ninja Warrior. Each year that I get older and celebrate another birthday I always get asked by several people, “sooooo how does it feel being (insert age)?” To which my reply is usually something along the lines of “idk, the same…I guess.” Like how can you possibly describe what a particular age feels like after only a moment. If someone were to ask me that question today about being 26 my answer can best be described in correlation to one of my biggest fears: ROLLERCOASTERS.

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Adulthood is like that one rollercoaster in the theme park everyone is scared to get on, but can’t seem to pull themselves out of the line. Before you know it, you’re too deep and can’t go back so the only way out is through it. So you get on the ride and the first thing you think is, “this isn’t so bad” after a few buckles and jerks. But then you feel it slowing down as it prepares for the drop and the death loop afterwards. You’re in full on panic mode, stressed, literally on the verge of crapping your pants as you feel your soul leave your body as the ride plummets. After the loop everything is smooth sailing again and you try gathering your life again and breathe for the first time since getting on the ride. You let out a little “I made it” laughter and can’t believe you freaked out as much as you did. The smile quickly turns to one of horror when you realize there’s another death drop taller than the first…that my folks is adulthood. A never-ending series of drops and loops and metaphorical crappy pants.

But at least the freedom’s cool right?

In the freedom, you find that the older you get the more your priorities shift. The more solid things become and you start to build up your own set of belief systems and moral codes that are not up for discussion. Here are some non-negotiable every adult should have in their list of “do not touch.”

Health/Sanity

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So I had this job once that was just so stressful to my life. I lost a ton of weight, I was always amped up on coffee just to make it through the day, I went home with migraines daily and I was just miserable there. My work morale was low due to the environment being created. After two years of dealing with that, I had to make the decision to go. I was stuck in a dead end work situation and I decided, I couldn’t compromise my mental health and sanity any longer. I realized that this wasn’t the end all be all. There were other jobs out there that I would enjoy and who would appreciate the value I added to the workplace. Your mental health and overall health and well-being should not be a negotiable option.

Family

That should be self-explanatory. Sometimes when we’re so consumed in our work we neglect important things in our lives including our families. It’s never intentional. Family should never be a negotiable option so when faced with things and issues in life that forces you to chose between family and work…it better not be work that you choose unless you’re able to reach a common ground with your family.

Character/Identity

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Being anybody other than myself is not of my character. If you’re at a job that forces you to be someone you’re not. If you’re in a relationship that brings out the worst in you. If you find yourself doing hoodrat things with friends when you’re not like that, it’s time to re-examine some things. Your character speaks volumes and when people says impressions are lasting, people will always remember how you acted, what you did and how you looked doing it.

Integrity/Beliefs

We live in a country that’s considered to be a melting pot of different races, beliefs, nationalities and religions. Be proud of who you and stand firm in it. Don’t let people or things try to change you. I think the older we get, naturally, the more self-aware we become but it’s easy for snakes to sift through the cracks and create doubt in us and have us questioning everything we believe. Don’t let it.

The thing about adulthood and “adulting” is that it is a rollercoaster that you’re never getting off of. So buckle up and enjoy the ride and if rollercoasters aren’t your things, take deep breathes and stay prayed up.

2 thoughts on “The Non-Negotiables of Adulthood

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