With Great Independence COmes Great Responsibility
Happy Fourth of July! I hope all of your evenings, my Dolls, is filled with fireworks and fun. Even if you don’t have a big party or barbecue to go to tonight, celebrate the holiday with a cool drink and find some fireworks to watch, even if you’re just watching them on TV.
When I was brainstorming this week’s blog topic I realized that it would be published on the Fourth of July. So I started thinking. As you know, the Fourth of July is also known as Independence Day. It commemorates America’s independence from Great Britain. It was when America finally branched off from its mother country to become a country all on its own. This idea inspired me because this year has been one of many big changes, including the fact that I have become more independent. Since this blog post is coincidentally published on Independence Day, I thought it would be very suiting to talk about becoming an independent young adult.
When I was a kid people used to always tell me how independent I was. I liked to learn and do things on my own without others telling me what to do. While I was always and still am independent in that sense, there are many other ways that I have learned to become independent this past year. I didn’t go away to college, so I never got the experience of being thrown into an environment where I was completely responsible for myself all of a sudden. Instead, I have been taking baby steps over the past few years towards self-responsibility and independence. This year, in particular, I have taken on a lot more responsibility and independence all at once. It can be scary at times, but it also feels really good to finally become a real adult.
Here are some of the things I’ve learned about becoming an independent young adult:
It’s Not Easy
It’s not easy learning how to become an independent young adult. For so many years, I had the tendency to lean on my parents to help me out whenever I was unable to do something or didn’t have time to do something. Laundry is a good example of this. From high school to the present, it seems that when I leave the house in the morning I’m not usually back home until 7 or 8 PM. This makes it hard to be able to do little things around the house like doing laundry. I’m lucky my mom was very patient with me all through college and helped me do my laundry. Now that I am becoming a real adult, although, she is pushing back and I have to learn how to be more responsible for myself.
Over the past year, my parents have been helping me less with things like cleaning or paying for me like they used to. That was a wake-up call because I tended to lean on my parents for a lot of things through college. All of a sudden this year, it felt like they had cut the chord almost completely. I have to pay for nearly all of my own bills (doctor’s appointments, car insurance, etc.). I am expected to do a lot more cleaning than I ever did as a child. And, I had to learn how to take care of myself like when I have a cold. It really wasn’t easy learning I had to do all of these things. I felt like I was kind of thrown into the fire. It definitely made me feel a little overwhelmed at times. Luckily, I know that many other young people feel similarly about becoming real adults.
You Have to Learn How to Juggle and Prioritize
Honestly, I really don’t know how adults do it all, especially adults who have kids. As I’ve mentioned before, I thought I was going to have a ton of time after finishing up grad school and now only having to work full time. If it is somehow possible, I feel like my life has only gotten even busier since finishing school. I have to find time to go grocery shopping, go to the gym, see my friends, work on personal projects, spend time with my family, hangout with my boyfriend, clean my room, make dinner, clean the kitchen, and much, much more. 24 hours in one day really isn’t enough.
The best way to handle all of the responsibilities is to learn how to prioritize and juggle. What do you have to do today that you can’t do tomorrow? What doesn’t have to be done today that you can put off until next week? What can you do now while you’re doing something else? As I said before, I used to rely on my mom a lot to help me accomplish little things I didn’t always have time for. She will always be here to help me when I really need her, but I won’t be living with her for the rest of my life. So, I have to continue learning how to juggle my responsibilities in order to become a more independent young adult. As great as it would be to be able to drop off my dirty laundry for my mom to do every week, that is just a fantasy. I can’t run from cleaning the rest of my life (as much as I’m sure we all would love to).
You’re Going to Be Really Tired
I really do feel like there aren’t enough hours in the day. Even though I haven’t taken on all of the responsibilities I know I will have to when I live on my own, I feel like I don’t have time for everything I have to do currently. Even now after work I feel like I can’t go to sleep before 11 PM because there is always something I have to do. Becoming independent is a big adjustment. I realized that I have less time to do what I want to do because more of my time has to be allocated to what I need to do. By the time I am finally done with everything I scheduled myself to do for the night, I’m usually too tired to really do anything else.
There’s no specific way to fight the tiredness. You will have to figure out what works for you. For me, I like to schedule what needs to get done to specific days of the week. Sunday is grocery shopping and laundry day. Maybe, on Monday I’ll clean the bathroom and on Tuesday I’ll reserve for something fun. I also need to learn how to better prioritize my sleep. I need a cut off time when I stop doing what I’m doing for the night and wind down to go to sleep. Sleep should definitely be one of your priorities too. If you’re feeling run down and tired, it’s only going to make it harder for you to accomplish what you need to accomplish.
Being independent is a lot less fun than I imagined it would be when I was a kid. When I was little I just thought it meant I got to make my own rules and go to bed whenever I want. While that is true, there are many more responsibilities that come along with becoming an independent young adult. But, hey, you can’t fight it forever. You just have to embrace it as it happens.
Happy Independence Day, my Dolls.
As you become an independent young adult, you’re going to realize some friendships aren’t forever. Read about a good friendship I recently lost in “Real Talk: A Difference of Opinions.”