Adulting 101 — Make You Your Home
Can you spend a whole day with yourself with zero social contact with anyone, and being able to feel recharged, peaceful, and happy after enjoying quality time alone? Do you enjoy planning your day? Do you take yourself out on dates? Does the thought of “me time” give you a boost of serotonin and hope? Are you mindful of your mental state and reflect on the root causes of them? Is it difficult for you to get angry, be bothered, or waste time on unworthy things? Have you made you your home? There’s a reason why making yourself your home is necessary and essential in the process of adulting.
Making you your home and feeling safe and loved alone doesn’t mean that you should isolate yourself and quit making friends, it means that you will be a whole person on your own and be capable of building better relationships. At the end of the day people are social animals, and feeling safe on your own doesn’t mean you can’t also be attached to someone at the same time. You will be able to cultivate healthier relationships because you won’t need anything from anyone. The relationships you have in your life are the ones that you truly want and bring value to your life, instead of ones that you cling on to even if you know they’re dragging you down.
So why is this an important part of adulting? A child is dependent on someone else because it is unable to provide for him/herself emotionally or financially, therefore children must sacrifice their partial freedom physically and mentally. It’s only until you make yourself home that you truly earn freedom. You won’t need someone to tell you what to do, like a child would, nor would you need someone to give you mental, emotional, or financial support. Therefore, things don’t get to you that easily. Why? Because you trust that you’ll be fine and make it through whatever… because you have you.
This all sounds pretty amazing, making yourself your home and not needing to be dependent, but where should you start? I’m sure there’s more than one way to get there, but here’s how I do it and continue to optimize it.
First of all, focus on peace instead of happiness. Which relationships are causing you stress, pressure, anxiety, and taking away your peace? If they don’t affect you financially and they are not your family, cut them off or distance yourself. Life is already hard as it is, you don’t need any more additional drama to it. Besides relationships, what things in your life are taking away your peace? Take a really good look and reevaluate what to keep , what to change, and what to remove. Happiness is overrated. Peace makes you focus on the present and keeps you grounded to make better decisions.
Find a hobby and create things. Find something you are passionate about! If you’re not sure what that is, try everything. I make content on YouTube, TikTok, and Medium, and every time I have an idea or think about the next topic to create on, I always get that rush of excitement and anticipation. You’d be surprised at how fast time goes by when you’re creating something. Your hobbies might even open doors to new experiences and friendships you never thought of.
Be mindful and talk to yourself. Whenever I notice that I’m in a negative headspace, the first question I always ask myself is “Why are you feeling like this now?”. Being aware of the causes of your mental state is essential for strategizing a way to get out of it. The reason is that once the cause is identified, you’ve already distanced yourself from it a little and taken back control. You then decide what you want to do with it.
Notice what makes you happy, identify what you care about, and plan your days based on those things. I care about looking good so I go to the gym and eat healthy most of the time. I care about money and security so I hustle and provide that for myself. Dancing makes me really happy so I dance all the time. Start by identifying at least 10 “positive” things that make you happy, meaning it can’t be smoking, doing drugs, getting into fights, and so, and then balance them out. Soon you’ll be wondering where all the time went because you’re too busy indulging in the things that bring you joy.
Set achievable and realistic goals and don’t let yourself down. Anyone could lie to you, break their promises, change, or ruin your trust, but you can always keep your word to you. This is a very important part of cultivating positive self-talk. When you set your mind on something, you just know you’ll make it happen, and how awesome does that feel? Even if you let yourself down once or twice, be kind to yourself and look back on what went wrong. Fix the mistakes with yourself just as you would with someone you love, and strategize again.
Realize that no one cares about you. Ok, this doesn’t mean that people you’re close to don’t love you, they just don’t care about you. When was the last time you cared about someone? How often do you even check in on your friends? Everyone cares about themselves the most and everyone is looking out for themselves. So get over yourself! If you want to make that podcast, just do it. If you feel like dancing, just do it. If you want to do that photoshoot, just do it! So what if you embarrass yourself? No one cares and no one will remember. Do what you want and realize that no one gives a damn so just go and do it.
Protect yourself. Don’t sell yourself short. Don’t bend to unreasonable requests. Fight even if you’re fighting a losing fight, don’t just go down without a struggle. Don’t tolerate disrespect and allow people to disrespect you. The premise, of course, is that you respect yourself the way you want people to. Once I was given a gig to write a summary of a seminar session and when I got there they told me that I had to record the meeting word by word, meaning I needed to type out everything that was said, when it was clearly written in our emails that the job was to write a summary. I could’ve chosen to spend an extra 6 hours re-listening to the whole audio recording of the seminar and get underpaid when the other party was clearly lying to me and taking advantage of me, just to save our relationship, but of course I didn’t. I gave a 60% done word by word transcript and told them that we originally talked about giving a summary, and I have provided the equivalent work amount. They didn’t argue with me at all because they knew exactly what they were asking and that I called them out on it. Before you seek a safehouse, be your own.
At the end of the day, the recipe really just boils down to exercising, mediating, reading, and working, the rest just stem out of these four categories. My method isn’t perfect yet and it won’t be overnight, but good things take time and we’re the only ones who will be with us forever. Therefore, the relationship with ourselves is the one that should require the most effort and investment. The home in ourselves is the one that should always be under construction.