[Listen to an audio version of this blog here.]
I would like to thank the random internet stranger friend who gave me both the idea for this blog and the suggestion to meditate. You are the hero we didn't know we needed.
Pro: You can play with fire.
Con: You probably shouldn't play with fire, especially if you're near a national forest and living through a drought, or if you're incompetent in fire extinguishing, or if you're wearing a particularly flammable dress.
Pro: You have freedom. You can do what you want when you want and go where you want and eat what you want, and pretty much make your life anything you want.
Con: You have to pay for that shit, which probably means working, which *can* significantly limit your freedom.
Pro: You can decorate your home to your liking. You can host dinner parties, roast turkeys, install a giant TV, install a home gym, adopt a billion cats. It's your home! You can do whatever you want.
Con: You have to pay for your home. And if you own it, you have to pay taxes. Or, if you're like me, you've lived many a random roommate in a too-expensive city and your space is not your own. If you're lucky, your roomies become your friends but if you're unlucky (or a butthole) you might find it hard to live in harmony with other people.
Pro: You can eat Fruit Loops for dinner if you want. Nobody tells you how to live or what to eat or how to eat or why. No more choking down a spam sandwich because mummy said to. No more poisonous school lunches or confusing, cafeteria concoctions that leave you bloated and bereft.
Con: Just because you can eat Fruit Loops for dinner doesn't mean you should.
Pro: You can socialize when you want to, with whomever you'd like. No more dull dinners at aunt Patricia's. No more making friends with the third cousin twice removed just because they happen to be there. You're an adult now. You can come and go as you please.
Con: You have to make a real effort to find friends you like, and to spend time with them. Relationships do not flourish overnight. You will have to water them. Sometimes, you'll have to hunt down a well, carry water a mile or two, and really water them, ya feel?
Pro: You might go to therapy and figure out exactly how and why you're messed up. It's okay, everyone is messed up, but not all of us address it. Maybe you do some deep work, some deep breathing, and figure out how to detangle your unhealthy behavior. Good for you.
Con: You have to really try to detangle your unhealthy behavior. Like, really work at it. It'll be hard and uncomfortable and it might make you want to crawl into bed and never come out. Growing is painful, no matter our age.
Pro: You can vote now, which means you have a modicum of influence over the policies that directly impact your life.
Con: You have to actually go vote, and know who to vote for, and stay informed on your local politics all the way up to the national gunk, and this can feel overwhelming and honestly just very stupid since you have a million other things to do, like scrub the sink and brush your teeth and make sure little Timmy gets his homework done.
Pro: You can travel, if you have the time and money to travel. The world is quite literally your oyster. You can rent an Airbnb somewhere off-grid. You can stay at a glitzy hotel in Paris. You can bunk in a seedy hostel with nine other vagabond travelers. You can see things and meet people and explore.
Con: Your ability to explore will be directly correlated with your income and responsibilities. Some of us have very little income and many responsibilities and therefore cannot dive into a Nicaraguan hot spring whenever we feel like it.
Pro: You can own a pet. Your very own living, breathing, pooping animal thing. If you live alone with a pet, you might really enjoy having a live thing around. Your pet might be your best friend. Your pet might help you meet a nice man in the dog park. Your pet might nuzzle you gently as you dream of sugar plums in your very expensive bed.
Con: Your pet might also tear apart your couch legs and piss on the hardwood. Your pet will annoy you, worry you, and cost you more than a little bit of money.
Pro: You will probably, hopefully, possibly, figure out how to take care of your body. You might read an inspiring Instagram caption and start buying kale and skinless chicken breasts. You might decide to stop binge drinking, or begin using regenerative face masks or going to bed before the morning time. You'll start wondering why everyone doesn't go for walks or take vitamins. This, we may never know.
Con: You'll have to invest time and money into taking care of your body, and that can feel annoying and difficult. Maybe you won't invest time and money, and become one of those horrendous 30-somethings with achy knees and a bad back.
Pro: You will earn your own money by working a job and/or starting your own business or whatever. Maybe you're lucky enough to not hate your job, your boss, and your many crusty coworkers. Maybe you hate them all, in which case work is not such a shiny pro. But at the very least, you'll be earning your own money, and that's empowering and kind of cool.
Con: In addition to earning money and dealing with your crusty coworkers, you'll have to do all the other adult shit that isn't as empowering and not nearly as cool, like getting the oil changed on your car, paying rent, going to the dentist, getting your pet groomed, buying groceries, doing laundry, and sinking slowly into the never-ending abyss.
Pro: Nobody will tell you not to drink an entire pot of coffee in one sitting.
Con: If you drink an entire pot of coffee in one sitting, you might throw up, or be awake for three days.
Pro: Nobody will tell you not to buy another pair of shoes, or another handbag, or another cat, or another antique dinner platter.
Con: You probably shouldn't buy another pair of shoes, or another handbag, or another cat, or another antique dinner platter.
Pro: You can go on dates with different people and really figure out what you want in a partner, or what you're willing to give in a partnership, and this will be a long, arduous, but hopefully rewarding process.
Con: You might have your heartbroken or (worse yet) you might have to break some hearts.
Pro: You can start a blog with 22 loyal readers and write about everything & nothing for no real reason other than to practice writing and hopefully uncover a kernel of wisdom from time to time.
Con: The only real con is that those kernels can be hard to find. I love you all, more than you probably know.