With my thirtieth birthday fast approaching it seems I am officially on the cusp of becoming a fully-fledged adult. Despite that, I still feel like I am bumbling through life, learning as I go making numerous mistakes along the way. There is an extrinsic pressure to have your ducks in a row – to have a tight-knit friendship group, a stable career, a strong body image and a firm knowledge of where you’re going in life. The reality? Not many of us feel that way, including me, and we need to acknowledge that. So, here are five things I personally think we need to normalise in adulthood.
1) Having career uncertainties.
It is perfectly normal to question your career as it is quite literally how you spend the vast majority of your day and therefore the vast majority of your life. In fact, I think it should be encouraged, we need to be asking ourselves if we enjoy what we do, how we can squeeze more fulfillment out of our work and how we can find moments of joy in our daily lives.
2) Drifting away from friends.
It is very rare to hold onto the same friendships and connections as you grow up, evolve and follow different life paths. If someone is drifting out of your life, don’t automatically think you have to try and pull them back. Take a moment to ask yourself if it is worth your energy fighting to keep them close. Is your friendship still serving both of you? If not, sometimes it’s actually better to let them go.
3) Evolving interests.
What tickles your fancy in your twenties might not float your boat in your thirties. In the past decade alone I have gone from party animal, to never going out to now dabbling in the odd rave (who even am I?!). As you get older your interests change. Late nights and hungover Sundays might not seem so appealing and suddenly country walks and civilised Sunday roasts could seem a little more up your street. And that’s ok. Personally, I have developed an affinity with my bird feeder and I’m not ashamed.
4) Body shape & body image changes.
Our bodies don’t typically stay the same across our lifespan. They change, they ebb, they flow. They feel stronger at some times and weaker at others. We feel more comfortable in our skin one month and less comfortable the next. Especially when we undergo huge shifts such as pregnancy, body image changes are to be expected. Ride the waves, have compassion for your body and avoid comparison to your younger self.
5) Being baffled by adulting.
When we enter the adult world we get thrown into the deep end and all of a sudden you’re expected to know everything. How to fix the boiler, how to apply for a mortgage and how to cook a Christmas dinner for 10. There is no guidebook on adulting and we aren’t taught these things at school so don’t be afraid to ask for help or consult my favourite resident expert, google.
What else do we need to normalise in adulthood? Let me know on social media.