adulthood

The following are selected quotes from @1000wordvomits.

-1-

“What is “this”? Whatever it is that distinguishes me from the kids. Because I was one of them. I was a noisy rambunctious kid. I still am sometimes, in some contexts, but something must have changed for me to now look at them with a tinge of annoyance. They’re like a different species. When did I transition?”

“There is no dignity or pleasure in a run-out-the-clock solution.” 0093-transitioning-to-adulthood-maladjustment/ 

-2-

“But now that I’m an “adult”– married, working, paying off a flat, I can and should start thinking about how to feed myself in a sustainable, suitable way that makes sense for me. The idea that I’ll never eat healthy, that I’ll never be able to prepare my own food, that I’ll never be able to take care of myself– all of those are incredibly painful, frustrating limiting beliefs that have no place in my life. If they were ever valid, I’ve outgrown them. Things like my parents worrying that I’d hurt myself or burn myself in the kitchen– I’m not even sure if those worries were real, but they’re certainly not valid anymore. I’m entirely capable of teaching myself to use knives, to use fire, to use pots and pans to cook and prepare food. And I like to think that I’m a person with taste, so I do believe that over time I’ll actually prepare meals that are fun and interesting.” – 0240 – breakfast and limiting beliefs

-3-

“As long as I’m learning and as long as I’m growing, and I’m being able to make more of an impact on my surroundings, appreciate things more blissfully, I think I’m doing good. I just want to have a good time without feeling guilty and irresponsible, without feeling like I’m taking advantage of people, without being a burden. Why? Those seem to be social wirings in the brain, maybe. So there are competing interests inside my bundle of neurons, and so far I have not been managing these competing interests in an effective, sustainable way. So the end result is a lot of mess, a lot of misery, a lot of worry, pain, suffering. Because I allow parts of me to exploit other parts of me, which is unfair. I need to help to address these inconsistencies and unfairness. That will allow “all of us” (inside my head) to have a good time collectively, and then we can have fun playing external games that we play because we enjoy them.

I guess that’s it. It’s all about managing my own psychology. And it can’t be all about Big Bad Me giving all these angry directives and orders to myself– my subconscious simply scoffs at that and punishes it for me behind my back. The really is a boss/management/organization thing going on inside the head, and it’s very humbling to realize that your subconscious team doesn’t belong to you, won’t simply do as it’s told, needs motivation and cajoling and appreciation and all of the things that regular folks need in the context of larger organizations.

When I represent this in a parent/child setting, it becomes so clear that it’s bad and wrong. You shouldn’t give a child free reign and give in to his whining and worries and concerns– you need to be stable and strong and firm around him. And at the same time you need to be honest, and you need to play with him, give him attention, celebrate him. Enjoy him. You can’t go from free reign to suddenly becoming a prison warden. He will hurt, and he will resent you, and your relationship will sour and both of you will have a terrible time. I think this has been going on inside my head for a couple of years now and the byproduct is really toxic.” – 0277 – adulthood is about learning to parent yourself

-4-

“I realize that “Young Adult”, because of “Young Adult Novels”, typically refers to people from ages 14-20 or so. I’m 25. When I say Young Adult, I guess I’m contrasting that with “Full Adult”– which I suppose I reserve for people with more responsiblities, people with children, people who have experienced real hardships in their lives like cancer and miscarriages and elderly parents. I feel like I’m not really an adult until I have to deal with all of that. But from a “14-20 Young Adult” perspective, I’m someone who’s married, who has a full time job, who has a mortgage and bills to pay. That’s more than most of my colleagues, actually. So the whole thing is a bit of a clusterfuck, and makes you realize how the terms we use are very loaded and ‘poisonous’ – not necessarily bad, but they influence and shape our thinking far more than we ever realize.” – 0278 – me and I

-5-

“And man, adulthood and growth is all about taking on more responsibilities. And I guess the reason that scares me is because I have no – or not much– precedent for that. The idea of being more responsible for more things simply sounds like more opportunities to fail. And in pursuing that thought, one of my strongest limiting beliefs reveals itself– this fundamental belief that I’m a sort of phony or fraud who is deeply incapable of being responsible, who will eventually find some way to fuck something up some how, and the more opportunities you give me to fuck things up, the likelier it is that something is going to get fucked up.

I’d like to state that I am dismantling this belief.” – 0294 – happy mediums and responsibility

-6-

“I don’t often hear people talking about how HARD it is. To simultaneously be a child and an adult. When you’re sick of being an adult, it’s tempting to be completely childlike– to be irresponsible, short-sighted, pleasure-seeking. When you get burnt one too many times from childlike curiosity, play and exploration, it’s tempting to be ‘completely adult’– that is, straitlaced, dreary, boring.

The good stuff comes from doing both at the same time, being both at the same time, embodying the best of both worlds in a constant yin-yang fashion. Being at once the artist and the manager. Discipline with joy, curiosity with focus, wonder with verification, awe with persistence.” – 0424 – the yin-yang nature of our inner child and parent

-7-

“When adults treat children like people, with their own minds and interests and curiosities. Encouraging them to explore their OWN interests, not just what Daddy wishes he was good at as a child. The parent or authority’s job isn’t to decide for the child outright, but to provide an environment and context in which the child can explore and learn and grow.” – 0448 – coming of age

-8-

“I’m now concerned about living the remainder of my life without debilitating amounts of guilt, shame, fear, anger, resentment and so on– and I’ve been trying to examine where all of those things come from. And that examination is proving to lead (quite unsurprisingly, on hindsight) to really old places.” – 0451 – the moral failure fixation is a red herring

-9-

“What’s stopping me from doing the things that I know I need to do? I have a bunch of excuses, but they can all be summarized into a few really simple things– I’m tired, I’m weak, I’m scared, I don’t know how. To which the answers are– rest, get stronger by doing the smallest things first, recognize that there’s nothing to be afraid of and I’m going to die, and be precise about what I don’t know and what exactly I need to do to learn the things that I don’t know how to do. ” 0469 – make the decision to grow

-10-

“What would that life look like? What does a better life look like? I think the first thing is just waking up early every day and dealing with life before it comes to me. It’s better to do it early than late. [2] I’ve been trying to do that for the past couple of weeks. I’ve been sleeping earlier and waking earlier. I feel like I’m making progress on this front but it will take a few more weeks before I really adjust to it. Once I’m done adjusting to that, I’ll want to be more effective and efficient with how I spend my early mornings. I’ll want to get some reading done, some writing done, some planning and evaluation done. Figure out my commitments in advance– arrange my appointments and scheduling, plan my workouts, my meals and so on. That’s the biggest thing that will make the biggest difference to my life– to be prepared and to anticipate things rather than to meet them on the road and improvise suboptimally over and over again.” 0522 – strive to do more than getting by

-11-

“And then we enter adulthood and we discover the flipside of the coin– that on the the other side of the Adventure is the Ordeal. Actually, we learn this even before adulthood. School can be quite the ordeal. Keeping up with shallow social relations is an ordeal. Developing a healthy self-image and self-concept in a world bombarded with advertisement and appeals to ego and lowest-common-denominator desires is an ordeal. Staying alive is largely an ordeal.” – 0525 – strive to transition from ordeal to adventure

-12-

“Making progress means being kind to yourself without enabling the shitty sides of you. It means challenging yourself without being hurtful or self-destructive. That’s a tough balancing act, and I don’t think it’s possible for anybody to get it perfect. We inch towards something more equitable through trial and error, by getting burnt, making mistakes. I imagine some people tend to be chronically in one side or the other- kind but also too forgiving, or firm but also too harsh. And some of us have the delightful worst of both worlds- too tolerant of things we shouldn’t tolerate, and too harsh on ourselves for almost no reason. (I think there’s a theory somewhere that sometimes we just internalize the anger and frustration of our elders- we learn everything first by imitation, so their annoyed voiced become our internal self-taught. )” – 0590 – continuing to grapple with adulthood

 

What Adults Would Tell You About Adulthood (If They Weren’t So Goddamn Tired)

 

  • Life
  • the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know
  • BS & wayang
  • uncertainty
  • loneliness
  • time management
  • incongruence between working on weaknesses and importance of strengths
  • prejudice (incl. homophobia)
  • marriage inequality
  • being tied to people
  • fear of failure
  • gossip
  • being responsible for others
  • non-lineated time post-school
  • compromising principles
  • general levels of fear and obedience
  • societal rules and norms
  • pressure to be sensible, low-risk
  • recognizing that others don’t necessarily know how to adult
  • realizing that everyone is groping in the dark
  • parents growing old / role reversal
  • body deterioration
  • exhaustion
  • work politics
  • lack of defined career path in most sectors
  • finances, insurance, taxes, bills

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