I've noticed that at this point in my life A LOT of my peers are doing things that I find myself turning my nose up at.
They're buying houses, getting married, and having children. This is all fine and good for them, but I feel like I want to live a little more before I make these steps. Have some Chelsea time before I settle down.
Now I'm not so out of touch that I don't have obligations and priorities. I'm not out here living it up and doing whatever I want. But between the Needs and Wants, I try to find a middle ground.
Hence my Adult Life Checklist.
I chose 30 solely because I wanted to make sure I lived before I started making huge decisions like marriage and where I want to live for the rest of my life. Also, I can barely remember to feed my cats and myself sometimes, so feeding a little human is out of the question.
- Conquer a Fear - Now I'm not talking about locking myself in a room with a huge spider and sweating it out. I mean things that have a direct affect on my quality of life. I fear what other people think of me, and I fear doing things/going places alone. I was raised to present myself a certain way; so when I'm seen as or approached as anything otherwise it really hits me. I've been practicing a more carefree approach to my image and it has alleviated some stress, but I still manage to overthink and over-do from time to time. As far as doing things and going places, I have made strides. I shop alone, a spend Sundays out alone. Heck, I live alone! I do stay away from extreme social settings like parties where I know little to no one and you'll never catch me eating alone outside my work or home.
- Start/Finish/Continue A Personal Project - It took me upwards of five years to get a blog going (maybe more). But as you can see, sticking to it, failing a few times, and being honest with myself has proved pretty fruitful. I'm still not where I want to be with it but at least it's no longer an idea. The same can be said for my fledgling podcast. Don't ever stop at "I should do-", keep going, do the thing.
- Live Alone - Roommates are fine, well, and good. But there is nothing like not having to work around other people and truly having your own space. In living alone I have come to learn more about myself and ready myself for the day I do invite someone to live with me.
- Get a Pet - Learning to take care of a living thing other than yourself (or a fish) is a smart move. I do believe i've said before that this will also keep you from doing things out in the streets just to kill time. Having a pet to check on at the end of the day makes you go home. It's also fun; my fur babies agree.
- Start Your Career Path - It's one thing to be unsure of what to do with yourself. For me, I struggled with a path in college and struggled with college in general. But I knew I wanted a creative career. At 24 I didn't want to still be in the retail circle come 30. This works for a lot of people; if you want to stay in these areas and follow the path of becoming a manager and one day owning/running a store, do you. I had to get out of there. While I see myself running a self started art/literary magazine around the age of 35 or so, my Junior Designer position is doing me just fine for now.
- Get Serious About Investing/Saving/Budgeting - What I've learned to be true in the last three years is that how much you make can greatly affect how well you save and/or budget. Now that I'm earning a steadier flow of money and more of it, I'm ready to get serious about saving and preparing for my future. I've decided that being able to keep an eye on my retirement plan and focus on saving will work out best for me if I have help rather letting someone drive altogether. Using financial software tools through Personal Capital makes it easy for someone like me, who has no clue what she's doing, to watch my spending, saving, and predict the future of the money I work hard for.
- Allow A Serious Relationship - I say allow because what I've noticed from young people is that if anything, we run when things get serious. Summertime flings and winter cuddle buddies get's old as you near 25 and it's never been a cute thing to entertain. If you are interested in someone, give them a chance, if you love them, picture your future. Can't see one? Time for them to go. Don't waste other people's time and yours.
- Travel - However you can and wherever you can. Not every trip has to be big and fabulous. Plan accordingly and take people you care about. Also try and save more than you may need. I personally believe that traveling, especially outside of the country can broaden your horizons. If you're not there yet in your life (or finances), hit a popular convention or music festival. Just go someplace you've never been to and truly explore. I myself am making serious plans to get back to Paris.
Twenty somethings want to hold onto these years forever. In this sentiment, we overlook and miss important life details that we can't exactly grapple in our thirties. Do these things now, get a head-start, and I promise future you will thank you for it.
, by Chelsea Redding