Facebook is full of those funny little quotes with an accompanying 1800’s sketch of a lady in feathered head-dress swirling a glass of something potent and declaring that she doesn’t clean her home because she simply gives no F^&$*s. As humorous as they can be, it simply adds to the idea that putting your head in the sand and ignoring your adult life is a way to escape the pressures. Why do I have to grow up and take responsibilities? Since when did I sign up for this?!

In Part 1 I explained how there are times when you need to be a child. Part 2 of my series on riding the rainbow is simply to…

1000_wordsBe an adult1000_words

Being an adult sux, doesn’t it? Having to be nice to people we don’t like. Having to find peaceful ways to resolve conflicts. Having to work on our relationships so that they don’t fall apart or fizzle out. Having to wash our own clothes and cook our own food and pay our own medical aid. Having to work all day to make money to pay for things and stuff. It’s horrible and why can’t we all just sit around playing Xbox or watching series or sipping MaiTai’s on a tropical beach with an endless line of new lovers to pick from like a spring catalogue?

Why can’t we just refuse to grow up? If it was meant to be for us, it wouldn’t be so hard, right? Why can’t we just – not. Someone else will take care of things…

Which means someone else always pays. Remember that nothing in this life is free, and if you are not working for it, cleaning it, changing it, taking care of it, fixing it, soothing it – then someone else is. Unfortunately, shoe elves do not exist. Negating adult responsibility means creating burdens on everyone around you, usually those you love the most, and draining them of everything they have while you sit back and marinate in your own stagnant future. Someone always pays.

I’m afraid you end up paying too, as the end of that road is depression and the heavy feeling of displeasure with ones own existence. Unless you are a complete sociopath, you will never feel happy in yourself when you know that you are not doing your bit.

pink_shoeBe Independent

In human context, the term adult additionally (to sexual maturity) has meanings associated with social and legal concepts. In contrast to a “minor”, a legal adult is a person who has attained the age of maturity and is therefore regarded as independent, self-sufficient, and responsible. – Wikipedia

Independence doesn’t only refer to bringing in a substantial salary, no matter what Destiny’s Child tells you.

A true spirit of independence is where you take responsibility for your actions, take ownership of your own destiny, take steps on your own path, employ your own abilities to make the things you want in life happen, and realistically reap the rewards of your own contributions. And that is a happy way to live.

Even though independence can be daunting and scary, the staggering black hole that is dependence is one where the world around you is limited and dark, purely because you are just sitting there in the mud, shouting about the things you want, like a toddler throwing toys because you can’t understand why you aren’t the center of the universe like when you were 2. (Note, getting up out of that hole requires work by you and you alone – looking up, climbing out and leaving the limitations of dependence behind.)

But surely I’m not one of those adultlescents, I hear you say. Surely I am not part of the problem – in fact, my displeasure with life is simply because I WORK so hard. I am not the one who refuses to grow up.

pink_shoeBe Honest

Shirking adulthood comes in many forms and we all do it in one way or another. In some cases, it’s those who never leave the comforts of home, never get married, never build new adult lives independent of those they relied on when children. But for others it means continually giving adulthood the toffee by refusing to grow up emotionally, behaving like a teenager on social media, getting their kicks by anonymously bullying and trolling. Some have ventured into adulthood to an extent, have a house, kids, spouse, but that’s where it ends. They then allow their possessions to fall into squalor because cleaning up is just too much like hard work, or spend their time chasing fantasies and ignoring their future and responsibilities. Some steer clear of adulthood by hiding behind a ‘give no F$%^#s’ exterior, but really just want to behave like a child, do what they want, when they want, how they want and refuse to ever consider anyone else around them.

Perhaps we need to start by being honest with ourselves. Where are we spending our energies? Do we jokingly say ‘FML’ five times a day, while never taking steps to change anything? Do we blame our situation on our upbringing or on those around us? Do we spend more time complaining about things, or doing something to better them? No wonder we are so unhappy.

Stop spending your adult life saying ‘I would do this if…’ because the only one stopping you from what you want is you. And that’s the grown up thing to do.

pink_shoeJust Do it

A good friend of mine told me recently over a cup of coffee:

If it’s important to you, you will find a way. If it’s not that important to you, you will find an excuse.

For example, if your health and longevity are important to you, you will find time to exercise regularly and find a way to eat a diet that is more fresh fruit and veg and less McDonalds and coke. If it is not, you won’t. If having a nice environment to live in is important to you, you will clean, and order, and look after the possessions you have. You will tend to the cracks and notice the dust, but if it isn’t something you care about, you will let everything slide. If you want to be in a happy successful marriage, you will actively work on it everyday, not just avoid the work and leave the fading romance to rot.

feelthefear

pink_shoeBe present

Sometimes, the temptation to sidestep the uncomfortable parts of adulthood is simply that we are lost and not living in the present. Living in the mindful moment can be hard, but it is the only real moment we have. Yesterday is over and can’t be changed. Tomorrow may never come and can’t be relied on. ‘The Power of Now’ by Eckhart Tolle explains how people’s emotional problems are rooted in their identities, and how all we have to do anything about it is now.

Right now is your adult life.

“If you worry about what might be, and wonder what might have been, you will ignore what is.” ~Unknown

Being present doesn’t mean ignoring everything else that has ever happened (the things we love to hold on to or use to explain away our bad behavior) or ever might happen (the fears we love to cuddle up in, suckling on avoidance while keeping our eyes tightly shut). Circumstance and fears are very real, but being present means acknowledging them, then minimising those things down to their base elements and giving the present moment first priority. Taking stock of everything in your life as it affects you in the moment is the first step to appreciating the bigger picture and not getting lost in the mucky emotional quicksand of circumstance.

I have such a bad temper because I was raised that way’ is no excuse for raging on. It may be the reason you tried out that behavior, being something you saw growing up, but it’s up to you to work your way out of it. You can’t blame your father for the things you do wrong – you can only blame yourself for continuing the pattern.

pink_shoePeter Pandemonium

Professor Frank Furedi, a sociologist who has studied the growing phenomenon of the ‘Peter Pan Generation’ explains:

Hiding from adult responsibilities “is an expression of a risk-averse orientation to life. The fear of growing up expresses a reluctance to experiment and embrace new experiences.”

It seems that when we refuse to function as an independent, contributing adult in our society, it all boils down to fear. And living in fear is a pretty miserable place to be.

Fear of the unknown is so often worse than the actual thing. I experienced this last year where I was terrified of a diagnosis, and the surgery that would be needed to correct it. I was plagued with vivid, violent nightmares and spent many anxious weeks paralysed by fear that seeped into everything I did. That was truly one of the most horrible times in my life.

When the diagnosis came back, confirming my worst fears, and I did indeed need the surgery to try fix things, I was overcome by a strange sense of relief. It was in the knowing, and accepting, that I found my strength, and I went on to recover perfectly, even though the odds were against me. It was only when I faced the music and said ‘Alright. Time for my big-girl boots’, and actively changed what needed to be changed to assist the whole process, that things turned around. My doctor suggested that it was my positive attitude that helped his surgery be such a success.

emotionally-unstable

I truly believe that many of us are dragging our feet and going through life as though a dark raincloud tailor made for us is permanently hovering over our heads because of fear. We fear disappointment. We fear failure. We fear hard work (thanx to an unrealistic sense of entitlement). We fear entrapment. We fear adversity and setbacks. But the fear is the thing that is holding us back, the brewing storm. We are raging in a cage of our own making, angry for no reason other than that we never asked to grow up, and we fear it.

Being an adult is a part of life, and if we try to avoid it, we cause tight tension on ourselves as we are left behind the rest of the world around us. Our bodies continue to ‘grow up’, and if we try to stay behind, all kinds of emotional, and even physical havoc ensues. Kind of like teleportation gone wrong, and your life ends up pixilated all over the place! (You know…Science.) It’s hard work being an adult, but it’s totally worth it.

pink_shoeChallenge yourself.

The truth is that we get much more reward from the things we work for than the things that are just handed to us. Whether it’s a new pair of shoes you desperately want or a skill you would like to learn, spend time making it happen for yourself. Save. Study. Practice. Train. Sacrifice. All these things, when rewarded with the desired outcome, fill you with a sense of overwhelming accomplishment and joy.

It’s good for you to always face challenges in your life, and how much more enjoyable when they are ones you set for yourself. So go for it! Get those harpsichord lessons. Enter the home-grown pampoen parade. Write a novella.

LittleMiss

Once you get used to overcoming the tasks you set yourself, life has a harder time throwing you for a doozie when it presents challenges – and it will!

Rather than begrudging the responsibilities that come with adulthood and independence, embrace the empowerment that is being a grown up and reclaim your life.

Simply put, living like a rainbow has been shoved up your adult life means learning to face the music, and dance! (quote from a friend)

Till next week, be beautiful and take control of your adult lives.

Pami-sign

 

More in the Rainbow Series:

pink_shoeBe a Child

pink_shoeBe an Adult

pink_shoeBe Authentic

pink_shoeLive 80/20


IMAGES/ 1. Via EXPERIENCING LIFE / 2. Via Google / 3. Via SECURE TEEN / 4. Via FANPOP