Adulting Through The Years

Recently, I have had quite a few conversations about adulthood and ‘adulting’ that got me thinking about the world around me and some life lessons that I have acquired along the way thus far. Continue reading for “10 Beautifully Painful Truths About Adulting” that I wish we talked about more to normalize the adulting experience that we all will go through.

10 Beautifully Painful Truths At A Glance

  • Embarrassing moments in life will never stop happening.
  •  You’ll glow as you learn to let it go.
  • The power of saying NO is real!
  • It’s ok to be selfish!
  • Highs and lows in life will continue.
  • We DO NOT ALWAYS get it right.
  • Accountability is a non-negotiable.
  • The importance of self-care and mental health is something you think about often.
  • Your value of family and friends intensifies as your tight circles may get smaller or adjust to circumstance.
  • There is nothing like loving yourself, flaws and all.

1. Embarrassing moments in life will never stop happening. You are believing in false narratives if you think that being an adult and adulating means the embarrassing moments in life stop. In fact, I have found that as I age; some embarrassing moments that would have had me curl under my blanket and hide from the world in the past are now embraced while other embarrassing moments that I used to easily let go of in the past are difficult to dismiss today. Truth is, embarrassing moments are what they are. We ALL experience moments that have us feeling like “I’m too old for this.” Learn from them, laugh at them, and keep living until the next embarrassing moment takes place, because it will. It’s just a matter of time!

2. You’ll glow as you learn to let it go. One of my favorite aspects of life as I adult; is my ability to let many things go. It is not to be dismissive of people or important matters of life. However, the older one gets; the more you are able to unapologetically prioritize life and experiences. You soon learn that not everything in life requires your sole undivided attention. Yes, we may feel guilty for turning the other cheek, but realizing everything is not in urgent need of your attention gives you space to pay attention to more. Someone else should and could handle a particular situation and understanding that allows you to breathe lighter.

3. The power of saying NO is real! Similarly, to point 2 about glowing as you let it go, the more one grows into their adulthood; the more one should and does learn to say no. As a “yes” woman myself who does her best to show up “everywhere” and do “everything” for people, I have come to learn about the power of saying no and just how important it is to my mental, emotional, and physical health. Saying no doesn’t make you an insensitive and self-centered person automatically in a negative way. Adulting means you know or are actively learning about your limits. There will NEVER be enough time to do everything, but there will be time to do what is most important to you! Saying no is a powerful tool as you learn more about who and what need your time versus who and what want your time. Learn the difference and proceed accordingly.

4. It’s ok to be selfish! Many are taught that being selfish is wrong. I too was raised to prioritize others and have my needs come in at second, third, or fourth place many times. While I still value being there for others and giving of myself as much as I can; I am also selfish with my time. Once time passes, you CANNOT get it back. Sometimes, as we adult, we have to put ourselves first and remember and believe that is ok. Sleep in a little longer, don’t attend an event and go to the gym or meal prep, stay in and binge watch your favorite Netflix show or movie, treat yourself to hours at the spa, or go play ball with your guys for hours. Ultimately, being selfish at times leads to your ability to be selfless. You cannot give to others without giving to yourself.

5. Highs and lows in life will continue. You are a human being who is living in a world with other human beings; meaning others impact your life and you impact the lives of others. As such, we will have moments with many highs at once, unfortunately undergo moments with consistent lows, and most points in your life will have a combination of highs and lows at once. There is NO MAGICAL age as to when the highs AND lows stop because highs and lows will forever happen. However, as you age, you will ideally learn to get through challenging times and celebrate the highs with loved ones who allow you to heal and celebrate the way you must and you will do the same for those you love.

6. We DO NOT ALWAYS get it right. There is no such thing as being perfect or living perfectly. Being human means we make mistakes and it is all a matter of time until we make a mistake; sometimes major mistakes at that. If you are like me, you can make multiple mistakes in a day, so imagine how many mistakes I make in a week? To me, one of the best parts of adulting is my ability to forgive myself and welcome being a human who is imperfectly perfect. Forgive yourselves and forgive others.

7. Accountability is a non-negotiable. Relating to point 6 about not always getting it right as an adult; as you age, you realize that you want to hold everyone around you accountable for their actions (verbal & non-verbal). You understand the impact of words and actions and are unapologetic about it. As such, you are also expecting and welcoming of others holding you accountable. Owning up to mistakes and proceeding in a better direction moving forward is a beautiful thing. There are times when being held accountable will sting you or you may sting others, but stings let us know we can still feel and the growth will continue.

8. The importance of self-care and mental health is something you think about often. Whether you follow through with going to therapy, the gym, attending a church service, reading a book, meal prepping, decreasing your alcohol consumption, and much more or not-you ARE thinking about doing and being better. One thing about aging and adulting is that at some point you realize that you are no invincible like you were when you were younger and that your body DOES NOT bounce back the way it used to. Constantly reflecting on how you can be and do better eventually leads to a change. However, the lesser amount of energy one possess that is encompassed with aging also means that it may take longer to do things; especially if it’s not in our routine regularly. Nonetheless, you got this and you can and will do it!

9. Your value of family and friends intensifies as your tight circles may get smaller or adjust to circumstance. I was the youth who befriended EVERYONE and while I enjoyed walking into spaces and “knowing” everyone, at some point I realized there is nothing more fulfilling to me than building with those that I have deeper and more meaningful relationships with. As time becomes more and more precious as we age, time is spent with those we love most and those who have shown us that they too love us! You may not talk to your inner circle every second of every day, or even every week, but you know who the most important players are in your life and you make sure to stay connected with them any which way that you can.

10. There is nothing like loving yourself, flaws and all. My ultimate favorite part of adulting has been my journey of self-love. To be able to reflect, work through, and build on a brighter future every single day as I bring my fullest self into all spaces that I occupy has not always been possible. However, adulting had me put in the work as I aspire to be the best version of myself every single day. I am far from perfect, but loving me for me and living life the way I would like to has brought so much joy and meaning to my life. Loving you and taking care of yourself is by far, the greatest truth of adulting.

The journey of adulthood and persisting through adulthood is a process. A process that changes based on circumstance, but one that you will respond to consistently based on your values. Go out there and continue to be the best adult that you can be. Love yourself and be grateful to live another day. As you work your hardest to see the brightness the world has to offer amidst the challenges; you will recognize the work for humanity will never stop but you will be a person full of purpose. Enjoy the beautifully painful aspects of adulting, they are what makes you-you!

To continue to stay connected with me and my future blog posts and speaking engagements, please be sure to sign up for my mailing list at

Follow Bernadine: Motivational Speaker| Workshop Facilitator| Spoken Word Artist| Blogger 

Instagram: BernadineTruth

Facebook: Know Your Truths. Speak Your Truths.