Things I’ve Learned About Being A Grownup

As I think we’re all aware, Tumblr skews very young.  Like teenaged young.  There are lots of us around who aren’t so very young, but we’re outnumbered.  It is not a secret that I am not super young (I’m 38…soon to be 39…gah) and occasionally I’ve gotten Askbox messages about what it’s like being a grownup, how do you know when you are one, and if it’s fun or if it sucks, that kind of thing.  

I don’t know if anybody ever feels like a grown-up, but I’ve certainly been living the grown-up life since I was 22, so I have some experience.  To that end, I will share with you some of the…

Things I’ve Learned About Being a Grownup

1. You will get super excited about Christmas and birthday gifts of things like…socks, or new towels.  I got a stand mixer one year and it was the Best Christmas Ever.

2.  It won’t take long to figure out that keeping a tight rein on your finances is A GOOD THING.  Or it shouldn’t take long, anyway.  HEED MY WARNING.

3.  There is no such thing as summer vacation.  Not even for teachers.

4.  The first time you ask to speak to someone’s manager, or send something back to the kitchen, it will feel weird.  It takes awhile to internalize the Grownup Idea that you do have the right to expect and demand good service and/or respect.

5.  Interest rates are obviously an invention of the devil.

6.  Your boss will not give you a gold star for showing up.  There are no ribbons for participation in the real world. 

7.  Those things you were always excited to do when you were a grownup?  Like sleep all day and eat candy for breakfast and stay out drinking and make unwise purchases?  Fun at first.  Not so fun later, and not good for you.  If you’re smart you will reach this conclusion on your own and cut it the fuck out.  Mostly.

8.  You have no idea of about 80% of the things your parents do for you.  What, I have to PAY for trash pick-up/oil changes/Netflix?

9.  Sure, it’s nice being a grownup and buying things I want for myself, like Sherlock DVDs and trips to London.  But 90% of your income will go to pay for things that are no fun.  Like…mattress pads.  Renter’s insurance.  Co-pays on my thyroid pills.  Motherfucking STUDENT LOANS.

10.  You’re never too old to be a flaily fangirl.

11.  As long as you can support yourself, ALWAYS take a job you like that has a pleasant working environment over a job that pays more.  No amount of money is worth the stress of hating your job for forty hours a week (or more).

12.  You’re not stuck with the people school makes you be friends with.  Now you can choose.  Choose people who add something to your life.  And to have a good friend, you have to BE one.

13.  Some things are worth the investment.  Good shoes.  Regular car maintenance.  Quality cheese.  Travel.  Activities that enrich and inspire you.  Some things are not.  Designer clothes (unless your career demands them, and those careers are rare).  Fancy cars.  Frequent nights on the town (those evenings are surprisingly pricey).

14.  It’s okay to go through the drive-thru in your pajamas.  

15.  You will spend a lot of time getting stains out of stuff.  Accept it.

16.  Stocking a medicine cabinet is expensive.  (It should contain at minimum: band-aids, painkillers, cold medicine, allergy medicine, throat lozenges, Pepto, antacids, Neosporin, and hydrocortisone cream)

17.  You can never have too many fleeces or conveniently-sized bowls.  Anything else, there are limits.

18.  You will never be a grownup if you run back to your parents every time you have a problem.  Some things do merit family help, but unless it’s a significant illness, devastating personal loss, situation in which you find yourself in danger, or imminent financial ruin, handle it yourself.

19.  Your first apartment, you’ll care if it’s cool looking, if it’s close to fun things, if there’s a pool.  All subsequent apartments, you will mostly care if there is on-site laundry.

20.  The most important things from your childhood are the ones you’ll never outgrow.  I still re-read “The Westing Game.”

17 March 2012 ·

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    As I think we’re all aware, Tumblr skews very young. Like teenaged young. There are lots of us around who aren’t so very...
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    most excellent post.
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