The holidays are over. You're fat, you're poor, and your skin is shit. It's January and everybody hates January. People are still adjusting back to their ~real lives~ after 2-weeks off from work that were filled with booze and 0%-17.5% responsibility. Nobody is happy, and stores start to roll-out Valentine's Day candy. Which, you're sort of okay with? But much more okay with when it gets a big fat 50% OFF sticker slapped on it the day after. I may or may not be speaking from experience.
The one good thing about January, though, is that it's the perfect time to map out your yearly goals. I'm not talking about losing 20 lbs in 4 days, or backpacking across an exotic country for 6 months (although if you can do that, do that.) I'm talking about the real, day-to-day, ADULT SHIT. Like, remembering to throw your pizza box out the same night you finish the pizza. And no, not the leftovers. Which by the way, what are pizza leftovers? Or actually going to the gyno when you're supposed to, and not canceling your appointment 6 or 7 times because you just don't feel like being violated on that particular day. I get it, trust me. A pizza box sat on my stove for 3 days last week, and the gyno - lol - new phone, who dis?
But one thing we can't argue, is that if we're subjected to having to be adults, we might as well BE adults, and do all that boring adult shit. But guess what?? It totally doesn't have to be boring, and in fact, will increase your chance of living longer by like 6000%. I made that up, but it seems right.
Here's a list of things that you should keep on top of, not just this year, but maybe, like, every year going forward? Highly reco you bookmark this tab and check it over at the end of the week to make sure you stayed on target. I say that not only to shamelessly increase my traffic, but also because I want you to SUCCEED, my friend, and turn you into a blossoming real-life adult that does real-life adult things.
1) First things first, if you don't have a job, get a job. This is rule numero uno of the Adult Handbook that I'm virtually waving in your face. Having a job isn't optional unless you fall under 1 of 3 categories: 1) You're incredibly wealthy from selling Myspace in 2006, 2) You're great-gran really loved you the most out of all of the kids and left you her $200-million dollar estate, or 3) You're under the age of 10 years old. If you don't fall under any of those categories, and most of us won't, get a job. Annoy your friends to take you to their networking events, MEET PEOPLE, take someone for coffee and pick their brain until they can't see straight. At the end of the day, people like to help people because it shameless makes them feel better about themselves. Let that someone have an ego boost and allow them to help you. Even if it doesn't lead to a job, it may lead to meeting the right person or ending up in the right place at the right time.
If this means relocating, assess your life obligations to your surroundings and decide if it's worth it. Will this be your forever job? Probably not. Most of what you're weighing on whether to leave or not will still be there when you get back. And if it's not, it was going to leave anyway, except now you got to experience a new city with new opportunities.
Bonus* if you do have a job, but fucking hate your job, LEAVE IT. Leave it right now if you have enough funds to get you by. If you don't have said available funds, save until you can leave, or even better, have something else lined up already before telling your boss. Don't stay in a toxic workplace if it causes you additional stress on top of your usual workload. Give a months notice, be kind, and gracefully peace out of that popsicle joint. (and then read the beginning of this step all over again)
2) The amount of garbage that you keep in your apartment is the amount of garbage that you keep in your life. Sounds like a Gandhi quote, I know, but nope - I just made that up. Wham. Anyway - learn what the weekly trash cycle is in your neighborhood and actually remember to put it out the night before. That goes for recycling, too. Garbage in one, and paper + glass in their own respective bag. The penguins getting strangled by your plastic coke bottle rings will thank you.
3) Buy a lot of toilet paper. On a scale of 1 - will I need toilet paper? You will always, always, always need toilet paper. Nothing is worse than realizing you don't have any - or worse - someone coming over and they realize that you don't have any. Buying toilet paper in bulk (and paper towels for that matter) also often saves you money, and since you're being a better adult this year, saving money should also be a priority to you. I promise, you will never regret having too much toilet paper.
4) Which by the way - start saving money in a realistic way. I'm not talking about abolishing your daily Starbucks order (although purchasing an adult coffee machine contraption would really help), but maybe order a Grande instead of your usual Venti? That alone will save you at least a few bucks a week, and I bet you won't even see the difference within your caffeine kick. You don't have to take every good thing out of your life to save money, just start setting realistic goals for yourself. If you can't livvvvveeeeee without your Monday night pizza order, still have it, but compensate for it somewhere else in your budget for the week. Have 2 less drinks at the bar that weekend. Keep a change jar and cash it in every month as your pizza fund. Cut corners where corners can be cut without making yourself miserable. The little things truly add up, and that jacket you can't take your eyes off of at Saks will be 40% off in a few months, promise.
5) Learn how to make at least one decent meal. This site is flooded with easy-to-do recipes from it's early days, so if you take a peek around I'm sure you'll stumble upon something that is worthy of your cooking pleasure. Aside from pimping out my own website, knowing how to whip together a quick meal for yourself instead of ordering out (you're trying to save money remember), or being able to cook for your pals when they come over, is ~very adult-like~.
Here's how to cook basic pan-seared chicken breasts. Couple this with a pan sheet of roasted root vegetables and you're in good shape. For the vegetables, you literally turn on the oven, wash and chop some vegetables, season them with whatever, and then let them roast on a baking sheet for 30-50 minutes depending on the variety. That's it. No excuses.
6) Stop driving yourself crazy. 9 times out of 10, you didn't leave the stove on. 9 times out of 10, those people that you said the stupid thing in front of don't even remember it. 9 times out of 10, you create scenarios in your brain that won't ever actually happen. And for that 1% chance that these things do happen, realize life is full of weird plot twists and just carry on. Except if you did leave the stove on and ending up burning the house down, then maybe pay a little bit more attention to that, cupcake.
7) Love, friendships, and all that good-good. In 2016, Beyonce taught us that she wasn't taking NO SHIT from anybody, and also that some chick named Becky has awesome hair. Which led me to a couple of questions: Why do I let people shit on me? And also - what kind of conditioner does Becky use? Whatever the case may be - take a look at your love life, your friendships, and especially the relationships that you have with your family and make a conscience effort to fix what needs fixing or wax what needs waxing. If you haven't seen or spoken to a specific friend in a few weeks, it takes literally 30 seconds to shoot them a text. If you're in a toxic as fuck relationship, leave him or her and go practice perfecting those pan-seared chicken breasts. While on the opposite side, if you find yourself ~the one~, don't treat it like an immature relationship and engage in petty shit. If something is bothering you, S A Y I T. Tell them you love them everyday and really appreciate your time together. Plan a trip, do something stupid, take pictures together, and be that annoying couple on Facebook if you want to be. What works for other peoples relationships shouldn't constitute what works for yours. Also, go visit your grandpa, he won't be around forever. Talk to him, pick his brain, and know that the knowledge he harbors about life is 10x more wiser than half of the information you currently have in your little brain.
8) Invest in the following quality items:
- A fancy (or semi fancy) black coat
- A non-stick skillet
- A good mattress/pillows
- The oil you put into your car
- An AmazonPrime account
- A dish and utensil set for at least 4 people
- A good facial cleanser to use both in the morning and at night
9) Utilize one of the oldest trades, the tailor/shoemaker. Old things can become new again if you search and find yourself a tailor. They are kind of like magicians, in that they'll take your old, worn out goods and make them shiny and wearable again. Broke the zipper on your favorite dress? The tailor has your back. Your brown booties looking a little dull? Put away that credit card, girl. Bring them to the shoemaker, get spruced and fall in love with them all over again. I've had so many shoes salvaged by the shoemaker so many times, I basically owe him my first born child. Or at least a fruit basket.
10) Learn to be OKAY being by YOURSELF. We have this weird social stigma surrounding the act of being by ourselves. We're afraid people will automatically assume that we're losers with no friends who shows up to parties by themselves and probably has 6 cats. When's the last time you met somebody new at a pregame party and thought "Wait, they came here alone? Whatta FREAK!" Probably not recently, if ever. The art of being okay being by yourself is detrimental to real adulting. Your friends won't always be available to come try a new restaurant with you. They're busy being adults and buying toilet paper in bulk. That doesn't mean that you can't go try that restaurant, or you can't go see that movie by yourself. I've gone to the movies by myself twice in my life, and honestly, it's pretty fucking great. Make more time for tender loving me time and I promise you'll start to feel like you have a handle on this life thing a lot quicker than you think.
Now go turn off your hair straightener.