Wednesday, December 20, 2017

I enjoy being an adult. Sure at times I would rather stay in bed or play hooky to visit the beach. However there is something to be said about living in a city you love, working in a career that makes your soul happy, and being able to plan for adventures when you have PTO. 

I did not wake up one morning and instantly have all of those things. It took a lot of blood, sweat, tears, and time. 


I made a list 8 years ago of the way I wanted my life to feel. Not specifically what I would be doing or where I would be living but the way I would feel in my ideal life. Then I took positive steps every chance I got until my life began to feel as I had written it in my list. 

When mistakes were made lessons were learned. Each lesson brought me closer to the goal [current status: still making mistakes, still learning]. Insert Maslow's hierarchy of needs. According to Maslow a person must achieve the basic needs of life such as food, warmth, water, and sleep before being able to focus on safety and a place to reside. See image below. 

My view on this theory is a little different. I believe that once you reach the top of the pyramid you begin again. Almost like leveling up in a video game. For example: when Mr. Winter and I first met we had less than five dollars between us. Our first goal was food, water, cigarettes, and having a warm place to sleep. I feel that we worked through our first pyramid once we were married. After our wedding we started again, we cared a little more about what we ate, whether or not the water tasted clean, and began searching for a place to live that was a step up from our previous home. I  can think of at least six times that we've leveled up. It's easy to look through the last nine years of my life and see times where we became self actualized and started again with increasing the quality of the base of the pyramid. In 2012 for example, we switched from cigarettes to electronic vapor. Yes, it is still a habit and we still consume nicotine, but we are no longer tied to the 2000 other harmful ingredients of cigarettes. We now eat well for our physical needs; organic food prepared at home 99.9% of the time. We pay more attention to the needs of our bodies - seeking holistic health options whenever possible. 

Money has not been a factor to the progression of our levels until after graduation. We would sacrifice things others felt were vital, like trips to the salon in exchange for YouTube inspired home haircuts, so we could afford higher quality food and apartments.

Once we graduated we were able to research and decide on the city we truly wanted to settle down in. A place with a culture we would fit in with instead of trying to force circular personalities into square cultures as we had been doing our entire lives. We knew our earning potential was greater and were able to, once again, level up our quality of life. 

The ultimate goal for us, the feeling that we are seeking to achieve in our lives, is happiness, security, exploration, and knowledge. I feel making good choices coupled with resilience allows any adult to continue leveling up. Again adulting to me is not equal to how much money you earn but how you live. 

I believe that I am the type of adult that my child self would look up to. I will continue to work on leveling up. Creating new goals and ultimately striving for a life that harmoniously matches my desired feelings list.

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