No matter how famous you are or how hard you work or how great your hair is, being an adult means you have to deal with some bullshit in your daily life. You’ve got tough choices to make and annoying tasks to handle and that’s the way it is. Think of the people who you’d life swap with in a heartbeat:
Girls who manage to look cute when they exercise.
Your sorority sister, who is two years younger than you and yet somehow appears to be way better at adulting.
Even these seemingly perfectly put-together individuals have to deal with things that make them roll their eyes, probably on a daily basis.
They feel competitive with their sister. They get self-conscious. They got jury duty. They wish they had more time to pursue that hobby they’ve always loved. They secretly are “meh” about their career choice and have no idea what they should actually be doing with their life. They accidentally sent home the wrong guy and now will marry someone whose hair looks like a soft-serve ice cream cone. Okay, that’s a very specific example meant for one of these individuals, but you get the point.
No matter who you are or how perfect your life looks from the outside, you’re going to have to deal with some degree of bullshit. It’s part of being an adult. You can try to orchestra a perfect life, and some days it can feel like you’re really close, but perfection is a myth. Being a grown-up means making tough choices that you don’t always want to make because there’s only so much time in a day.
With that in mind, you have to figure out the specific type of bullshit you’re willing to accept in order to live a life that feels right for you. Pick your poison, if you will. I read an article about this once (of course now I can’t find it or else I would link to it) and it registered with me. The piece talked about how living a life you truly love requires sacrifices, and you have to be okay with these sacrifices. No bitterness allowed. When I read the piece, I was at a point in my life where I really was feeling bitter. I was hung up on the fact that I have to travel for work, which means sometimes I miss things at home in Charlotte. Then I started to think about the bigger picture: I love the actual work I do. I love the people I do it with. I love that it allows me to continue to freelance and co-host The Margarita Confessionals podcast. Few professional situations give you that much happiness with only minimal aggravation.
After some self-analysis, it turns out I’m willing to sacrifice a totally steady office location for work I love and flexibility I need. My poison has been picked. It’s time to stop obsessing over it, get back on the plane, and continue with my life as I focus on the parts of it that I love.
This extends beyond your professional life too. Any relationship or friendship or living situation is going to have its issues. If you’re only happy when you have totally smooth sailing, you’re going to exist in a constant state of unsettled. It’s great to continue to improve your life, but you also have to realize when it’s time to accept imperfection and move past it.
Can you tolerate some office politics when you head to work each day if it lets you live a personal life you love? Can you tolerate your friend’s flair for the dramatic if you know she’s loyal and has your best interests at heart? Can you tolerate seeing your friends and family less if you get to chase the career you’ve always dreamt about? Be honest with yourself. If your current situation isn’t something you can feel good about, make the necessary adjustments, but also know when to be content. Pick the poison that allows you to live your most productive, happy, and self-confident life, and then embrace these choices. Live your best life, bullshit and all.