If I’m 100% honest with you, I feel a bit pretentious sitting down to write this. What do I know about being an adult? I’ve only had 3 years of experience, and I got the job with practically no life skills and one small qualification to my name (hello, bachelor’s degree hanging on my wall). But for some reason, this feeling that I need to craft a list of things I’m learning won’t go away.

1. Picture the person you want to be – I have this vision of who I want to be one day. She’s this mixture of Audrey Hepburn and Anna Wintour with a little Tina Fey and Katy Perry mixed in there for good measure. She’s assertive, but kind. She’s confident, but quirky. She’s independent, but loving. So right now, I may feel like I fall short…a lot. (haha…I’m short…there’s nothing to see here, folks). I may get frustrated and feel defeated, but as long as I can picture who I want to be, everything else will fall in place.

2. Work smarter, not harder – dear Lord, I try to circumvent this all the time. Especially when I first started working. Instead of doing it the easy way, I felt compelled to do it the hard way. I thought it showed that I was hard-working and dedicated. Looking back, it probably made me look a little silly.

3. Don’t take anything personally – I’m starting to realize that people’s attitudes toward you and the way they handle things are rarely (if ever) actually about you. Unfortunately, I realize all this in hindsight after I’ve jumped on the phone to tell my mom about the latest injustice I’ve suffered.

4. Always have a spare $125 for an unplanned car repair or more importantly, a Kate Spade New York surprise sale.

5. Be gentle with yourself – still working on this one, but it counts that I recognize I need to do this, right? Right?!

6. Be impeccable with your word – always do what you say you’re going to do. You’ll astound people.

7. Spell check.

8. Call your grandmother.

9. Don’t buy/adopt a pet because you’re lonely. This goes for boyfriends too. – I’ll admit, I’m working my way through this one. I want a dog so bad. It’s hard to go home to an empty apartment, especially when you can get a dog who will always be excited to see you when you get home. But dogs are more than an adoption fee. They rely on you, and if you can’t rely on yourself some days, you probably shouldn’t have another living being with puppy dog eyes looking up at you expectantly.

10. Stand up for yourself.

11. Exercise – & not “eggs are sides…for bacon”. I struggle with this every day. I know I should exercise. I know I’ll feel better, physically and mentally. I still have to fight off the lazy bug, but once I do, I feel so much more productive.

It’s easy to sit here and craft aspirations for life and forget about the nitty-gritty of the day-to-day. It’s easy to say you’re going to always do you  best, then spend 25 minutes griping about your colleague, your boyfriend, your friend, or all three to different people. It’s easy to put things off until tomorrow. It’s easy to go home and hibernate instead of going out because you’re tired or introverted. But I hope this is a reminder (if not to you, than to me) that life is a work in progress. Being an adult is not some predetermined idea of success. It’s just a reminder to get up, show up, and grow up. 🙂