When I was younger I used to watch my dad get ready for work every day. The briefcase, the fancy graphic tie, the very neatly ironed suit. Bish bash bosh. Behold. The adult.
I used to think about how I would be when I was his age. Nurse? Princess? Astronaut? How I, Little Lucy, would behave and accomplish when I was a grown up. People everywhere will tell you that your teenage years are the best of your life – that you find yourself, however one can, and that you have it so incredibly easy. You, silly teenage you, have not experienced real hardship or any struggle until you get into adulthood. Bills, taxes, work. Golly gosh how naive we were. But what, I must query, is where does adulthood start? Is it age, a feeling, an event, a person that can transform you, silly teenage you into a big bad grown up?
I have learned, overtime combined with trial and error, that it is none of the above – the things that have made me feel somewhat adult have been life lessons. Here is a list of a few lessons, mistakes and things that are a mixture of both that could prove helpful or maybe just humorous.
- Your friends, parents, and siblings are the best sniffer dogs.
You can pout, you can cry, you can count your lucky stars but your family and friends are the ones with the True Colour Goggles. Your sniffer dogs can smell a bad egg before they’ve even boiled. They can observe your beloved friend or partner from afar, painted black as night when they claim to be the brightest gold. It is not your loved one’s fault, and it is usually not your fault either. Know that you, awesome grown-up you, are worth more than what they could give you at that time in your life if they happen to make an unexpected exit to stage right. You will figure it out. Some people are cigarette breaks and some people are forest fires, but regardless of their duration and last effect, they still leave their mark. A large void is going to be created for it to be filled by something even better, I promise.
- Education is important, but so is your health.
Work hard, play hard, rest even harder. Know when to turn around and say ‘no not today’ before crawling back into bed and sleeping for an extra two hours. Later, you can arise from your slumber as a changed person ready to take on the day. Know when to say ‘I don’t know what I’m doing’ to your teacher or lecturer. We are all human, we all have bad days and sometimes there are things that we simply cannot understand or crack on our own – you don’t have to try and read Ancient Chinese alone until you approach someone who can help you learn the language.
- Not every person you meet will be nice.
Sometimes you can smile the sweetest, pull out a chair to the feast and lay your heart out on a platter before them, but it will still not be enough. Some people will always turn their nose up at you or the things that you do, that is not always your problem. People are funny things – we are complicated yet simultaneously incredibly simple. Stay honest and stay nice. A smile can go a long way.
- Do things that make you smile on a regular basis
Take care of yourself, get those gnashes out in the grin that your mother says she loves so dearly. Put that face mask on, paint your damn toenails. Go to the beach, skim some stones and feel the sand between your toes if you can stand it. See your friends and eat enough Pizza Hut for a small army. Read your favourite book series two times over. Cuddle your parents for a second longer, try not to swear at your younger siblings. Get that bag or that ugly pair of shoes. TREAT YO SELF.
- If people act like they don’t care then they probably don’t.
The sad truth is, you cannot control people or the way they behave. You may think about a certain person every day, wonder about their future and what they think about before they go to sleep. Yet alternatively you might not even cross their mind, that is not something that you can help. People are odd and amazing and sometimes not so much. But something I have discovered throughout my life is that those who are meant to be in your life simply will be. You don’t have to consistently seek out their affections or crave some measly form of contact. Those who are meant to surround you and fill your life with light, will.
- Remain positive
I, like many others, have experienced some exceedingly dark times in my life. But I, like many others, have survived 100% of every situation I thought that I would never see the light of. The pain of that break up will fade. Your scars will heal, be them physical or emotional. Know that you are strong and brave and wonderful and the best is yet to come. Smile a little longer today knowing that you, wonderful fabulous you, have conquered yet another mountain without fail. When all hope feels lost, ask for that hug, go to that doctor, see your friends, have that sleepover. Know that those who surround you are there ready to lift you on your shoulders and cheer with you.
- Grow of your own accord
Some people will have things easier than you. Who are we as those who merely watch them travel through life, either in person or on Instagram, to complain about their lifestyle or the way they conduct themselves? The ‘you know my name, not my story’ malarky is a very controversial phrase yet it is something that I try to live my life by. The grass is always greener on the other side of your picket fence if you look for lusher subjects. You can pine for that garden gnome, for the tulips that look oh so good next to those daisies, yet if you continue to neglect your own garden, how can you expect the dandelions to stop growing or your grass to flourish? Your lawn will grow where you water it, so sprinkle that water around like your life depends on it.
Turn everywhere you walk into paradise, and then you will have enough tulips to decorate every inch of that garden of yours.