15 Things I’m Glad I’ve Finally Learned As a Grown-Ass Woman

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I’m glad learning is lifelong process, because it’s taken me almost 27 years to figure out how to like, live. 

I have often wondered if I will ever actually “feel” like a grown-up; will I reach I certain point where I can sense adulthood (and how to understand an insurance policy) taking over my body? 

Hopefully not, because that sounds alarming. But I can point to several things I’ve figured out that make me feel distinctly more “grown-up” than before, things I’m glad I’ve finally learned as a grown-ass woman:

The way my skin looks is almost entirely based on what I eat.

It’s not about the right creams or serums or cleaners. If I’m breaking out, it’s because I ate five chocolate chip cookies and then drank a bunch of red wine. That is why. It’s not cause my $3 Argan oil from TJ Maxx didn’t work.

It’s way better to buy comfortable clothes you like than really uncomfortable clothes you love.

Because you won’t love those boots for long when you can’t walk more than a block in them before you are on your knees on the sidewalk, begging a homeless person to give you a piggy back ride to the next bar.

Eating healthy actually makes an enormous difference in the quality of one’s life.

Why am I so tired all the time? Could it be that I mostly eat bread and sugar? Sometimes together?

Wearing cheap, bad makeup is way worse than splurging on makeup you actually love.

You don’t need to go hog-wild and buy turquoise eyeliner from Sephora. But I spent years wearing makeup that wasn’t easy to apply or dried me out because I felt so guilty about spending money on new or different makeup. And by years I mean this is still happening sometimes, because I am mostly a cheapskate.


You friend Jocelyn’s new teacup pig is not so mind-numbingly cute that you cannot manage to look away when your husband is trying to tell you about the guy at work who has a full-sleeve tattoo he thinks is awesome.

Exercise isn’t optional, and yes, you have time for it.

Want to not be depressed? Exercise. Think not falling asleep around 1:00 PM sounds nice? Exercise. Interested in actually taking care of the only thing that lets your soul walk around and speak and pet adorable dogs? JUST EXERCISE ALREADY, OH MY GAWD.

The hangover is never, ever worth it. Ever.

Also, only have a mimosa in the morning if you have time to nap later.

Having an uncomfortable pap smear will always and forever be 18,000% better than pushing a human child out of one’s hoo-hah.

If you remember this fact every single time you go in for a check up, your level of anxiety will decrease significantly. Also, you will be less inclined to grab the nice nurse’s boob in fear.

Having less clothes to wear actually takes away a lot of stress.

I recently cleaned out my closet and whittled it down to a grand total of approximately 35 of my favorite or go-to items, including pants, tops and shoes. And lawd does this feel better. As much as I love clothes, it feels so much better to not enter my closet every day and feel a huge amount of guilt over looking at a bunch of clothes that I spent money on but never actually wear. And now, I’m guaranteed to wear the clothes I actually love!

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Eating healthy is great, but it’s not like you’re never going to eat cake again.

At various times in my life, usually while I’m sitting on a plane coming back from vacation where I ate my weight in iconic desserts, I have thought about going on a diet. Then I think, “Yeah, but I’m not going to spend the rest of my life not eating pizza or wine or ice cream.” Diets are great but not exactly sustainable, and plus I would rather die than know that in order to have a flat stomach I can literally never eat red velvet cake again.

Being disciplined is not the same as being uptight.

Ever since trying to become self-employed (please, please see my hire me page), I have had to become really disciplined in how I manage my time. This can sometimes leave me feeling like an uptight and rigid imposter-syndrome-riddled writer when, even though it appears I am just sitting at home in my pajamas, I don’t want to adjust my schedule. You see, being that person who acts like they have a lot going on work-wise has actually, finally made me someone who has at least a little more going on work-wise, and that’s because I systematically plan out my week hour by hour beforehand with serial killer-like precision.

Not everyone needs to know everything about everything.

This took a while to figure out, and by a while I mean I only kind of realized this recently. I tend to pride myself on being totally transparent because I always thought people needed me to be completely transparent about every single tiny detail of my life, good and bad, in order to feel connected to me or good about themselves. And if I’m being honest, I thought it was something I needed to do in order to get people to like or value me.

You are probably just as talented as highly successful people.

More than likely, they don’t possess skills that are inordinately more amazing than your own set of skills – they just happened to find a way to leverage those skills into success. This was particularly apparent to me when I tried to read a book by a popular blogger I liked and realized it was probably the worst written thing I had ever read, after which I said to myself, “Good lord, I could write a book better than this.”

Also, highly successful people are not always people worth listening to.

This might seem obvious, but I really had little filter when it came to gleaning life advice from highly-followed people on the Internet. They’re popular, so they probably have sound judgment, right? NO, NOT ALWAYS. Looking at you, popular Christian author who seems to be making rash and alarming declarations via Twitter.

And finally, no, you should not buy that plant unless you know how to take care of it.

Most short-lived $30 I’ve ever spent.

9 replies »

  1. I can relate to the lessons in this post so freaking much, Julia. I left my career to work on my own, and I’m forcing myself to be disciplined to get stuff done; I’m not a serial killer yet though. I’ve got tons of talent and I see others doing more with theirs and I know I can get there if I leverage and learn- there’s the rub. I’m still waiting on adulthood to grace me with it’s presence, but insurance and stuff just makes my skin crawl.

    You’ve got a great writing style and I think we’ve got a lot in common. Followed. 🙂

    • Thanks for sharing this with me! I’m glad you’re not a serial killer, to be honest. I’ve been telling people lately that being a writer is like being an actor – there are thousands of us, and some of us really talented, and often it feels like even with talent I will struggle to ever be noticed, you know? I’m glad to connect with you! I’ll be checking out your site!

      • Oh, believe me, I know the woes, lol. I’m reading this great book about the writer’s life and such called Bird By Bird by Anne Lamont. It’s funny and full of thoughts most of us will relate to. I bought it used some time ago and finally picked it up because I was needing encouragement and inspiration badly! Also, thanks for the follow darling! 🙂

  2. Jules – this post made me laugh out loud, here in my classroom where I am supposed to be scoring Cornell Notes about the Revolutionary War. Thank you!! I can’t agree with everything, I’m a crazy-diet-lifer and I don’t really do make up…but eye contact, working out, and the plants? Spoke directly to my soul and I felt connected to you – which a feeling I treasure above most!! with love and smiles, Aunt Andie

  3. I’m SO late to the game on this post, but I had to comment. Because it’s all SO TRUE. And despite learning so many of these lessons, I still make these mistakes all the time. Isn’t life great? (Also, I desperately want to know which blogger book you’re referring to. I’ve essentially given up on most of them at this point for that very reason – being a blogger does not make you a good writer.)

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