Getting your life together is a … process. It is a long, tedious, difficult process that takes some of us longer than others. I am thirtysomething years old and I rarely feel like I have all my shit together. That's understandable, perhaps, because even though I own a house, pay a mortgage, and vaguely know how to adult, my parents still give me advice on everything, I cannot make myself get up before ten o'clock in the morning, and strangers on the internet take me to task for saying “shit.” So, being an adult is pretty relative and it's often hard to tell if you actually have your life together. The signs can be pretty subtle, after all. If you're doubting your ability to adult or feel like you're not a functioning part of society, this might make you feel better – or at least a little more put together.
1 You Don't Have to Constantly Check Your Bank Account after You Go out to Eat
You only do it occasionally, like after you've gone somewhere nice. Haha, just kidding! (No, I'm not.)
2 You Ask for What You Want
Because at this point in your life, you're completely done with waiting for what you want. You ain't got time for that.
3 You've Learned How to Hold Your Temper
For the most part, anyway – you don't go off the handle right away and you're better at putting your feelings aside until you can safely vent.
4 You Think in Terms of Thriving Instead of Just Surviving
This is a big one. When you first start out on your own, survival is often your primary goal. You just want to make it until the end of the day, the end of the week, the end of the month. You take things one day at a time. As you start getting your life together, however, you slowly realize that you're thriving, not simply surviving. You're living, not just existing.
5 You Can Pay All of Your Bills on Time
This is exciting, and I'm not even being sarcastic. The moment when you no longer have to go through your bills and figure out what you can safely pay late … that's a special moment. That feels good.
6 You Aren't Jealous of Your Friends' Successes
Now, some of you may know what it's like to be legitimately jealous of your friends while others may only know what it's like to be a little envious of a friend who's in a better place than you. Either way, a little jealousy is normal and no, it won't last forever. When you've got all your ducks in a row and you're in a good place, you won't have to feel that kind of envy again.
When you're young and/or inexperienced, it's common – and easy – to take everything personally. Everything feels like a slight and you're constantly on the defensive. It's exhausting. As your life comes together, however, you gradually feel that way less and less. Soon, you may not feel that way at all.
8 You Realize It Isn't All about You
Mainly because of this. This can be a hard-won lesson (ahem, ahem), but it feels even better than paying all your bills on time.
9 You Can Be Responsible for a Pet
So, I treat my dogs like kids. I said it. They're practice babies. My dachshund is my best friend. You don't have to have a pet to get your life together, but when you can love and care for an animal, no matter what it takes, and they're happy and healthy and well fed, you're doing good.
10 You Make Decisions Based on What You Want
That is, not just on what you need. You don't choose things because you have no other choice. You have options now and you can decide to do things based on what you want.
11 You Stop Canceling Plans All of the Time
Unless you're an introvert and/or socially awkward. Then you'll probably still cancel plans. Even then, you'll do it way less, though.
12 You Make Commitments and Keep Them
Not only that but you keep them even when you don't want to – and you're totally justified in feeling proud of yourself later.
13 You Take Care of Your Home
You keep it clean, you take pride in it, and you don't just wallow in clutter or dirt. I say this as someone who is lazy and slovenly af when my life falls apart, mind you, so your mileage may vary.
14 You Push Yourself to do Things You Might Not Want to do
And, again, when you accomplish something that you didn't really want to do, you'll feel proud – and you should.
15 You Don't Feel the Need to Defend Your Choices
You'll explain them and you stand behind them, but you don't feel like you have to defend them now. They're your opinions, your choices, and your decisions. Just yours.
16 You Take Responsibility for Your Own Problems
And your own faults.
17 Your Relationships Are Healthy
If they're not, you evaluate them and fix them – or break them.
I'm still working on some of these, but the ones I've experienced have helped bring me to the place I'm at now, and it's a pretty awesome place!