How to Adult: Parenting Yourself

I don’t feel like it.

“I,” meaning me; “don’t,” meaning I am capable of doing but am making a choice not to; “feel,” meaning my favorite excuse when it comes after the adverb “not”; “like it,” meaning the action I have decided I do not want to do. But I am an adult, even when I don’t feel like one, and that comes with one major responsibility: parenting myself.

The first time I heard that particular phrasing, it was like the missing piece of the adulthood puzzle was put into place. Up until that point, I knew there were certain things I had to do in order to be a functioning, independent adult in this society, it’s just that, you know, for everything else I let not feeling like it dictate my actions.

Why should I cook a healthy meal for dinner instead of eating ice-cream? I’m an adult after all and I don’t feel like it. Why should I wake up and exercise like I said I was going to last night? I know integrity is important but I don’t feel like it. I know I should have started writing this blog post earlier, but, you guessed it, I didn’t feel like it.

Growing up, when I didn’t want to wash the dishes, my dad made me. When I didn’t want to fold the clothes, again, my dad made me. Now that I am the adult it is up to me to parent myself–to make me do the things I don’t feel like doing; that part of my parent’s job is over.

Yeah, sometimes it’s no fun to tear myself away from mindless scrolling on Instagram to stare at a blank page and write letters and form words and attempt to make some sort of coherent sense, but as an adult, it’s just part of my responsibilities.

In April, I wrote a post titled “Feeling Like It is Killing Your Dreams.” To sum up the article: fuck your feelings; show up and do the work to reach your dreams. And that, in a nutshell, is what it means to be an adult.

The first rule of adult club: parent yourself.

“This is your life, are you who you want to be?” So goes the chorus of one of my favorite songs by one of my favorite bands, Switchfoot. This week’s featured song is “This is Your Life” from their 2003 album The Beautiful Letdown:

2 thoughts on “How to Adult: Parenting Yourself

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