Life

3 Major Adulting Mistakes I Made This Year

July 5 2018 | CeCe Olisa

I just celebrated my birthday a few days ago, so I’m reflecting on the last 12 months as I prepare for my next 12 months. I try to learn from my mistakes and I hope you can learn from my mistakes too.

As I stood on the corner of 34th street and 7th avenue, I was in a full blown panic. I was too weak to stand on my own, so I leaned against the grimy wall outside New York Penn Station and waited for an ambulance to find me in the middle of Manhattan.

Just a few hours earlier, I was happily dancing at a friends wedding.

A few days before that I was filming my first national segment for the Today Show during New York Fashion Week.

I had no idea that while I was laser focused on supporting my friends and pursuing my passions, my body was quietly falling apart.

Which brings me to the most frustrating adulting mistake I’ve made this year….

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I Didn’t Put My Health First.

Due to a blood clotting disorder, I take a tiny blood thinner pill every day. It’s not that big of a deal to me anymore, I’ve been taking it for years now, so it’s just a part of who I am at this point.

But in the craziness of New York Fashion Week I simply forgot to pick up my prescription.

It crossed my mind a few times to go pick up my meds, but something always seemed more important– a client meeting, a fashion show, taping a segment on the most popular morning show… I put all of that ahead of picking up my medication.

Skipping my meds for a few days was all it took for me to go into a major medical crisis that had me in the hospital for a month.

Here’s what I learned: not everything that is URGENT is IMPORTANT.

The most important thing I could have done that week was go to the drug store and get my medication, but I let dozens of urgent things like emails, texts, meetings, etc. and exciting things like fashion week and TV appearances take priority.

I am the only one who knows what is truly important to me, so whether it’s calling my 95 year old grandmother, taking a boxing class or picking up a prescription from the drugstore, successful adulting for me will always include putting important things, like my health, first.

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I Confused “Alone” with “Lonely”

 

I live alone in New York City.

I work for myself, by myself.

I’m not married (yet).

When I used to say those things out loud it sounded pitiful to me. All I could hear was the void of what I didn’t have. I would whine about wanting a partner. Complain when I wanted to do something but didn’t “have anyone to go with”, blah blah blah…

Then one day I took a chance and bought a ticket to a concert.

One ticket.

I didn’t wait for friends or a date to agree to come along, I just bought the solo ticket and went by myself to the show… and guess what happened?

I had the time of my life AND I met a group of amazing women who I actually became friends with in real life (Hey, Erin! Hey Leila!).

After that concert a shift happened in me– instead of seeing being alone as a sad state I now see it as a space of infinite possibilities!

I have people in my life who I can hang out with when I choose to. At the same time, I can do anything I want and go anywhere I want– all by myself! I don’t have to ask permission, sync calendars, wait for budgets to line up… it’s all on me, and it’s kind of amazing!

When I look at my friends who are married and/or have babies, it can be so complicated for them to take a few hours and do something they’re interested in. God, willing one day that will be my problem too, but in the meantime I’m taking advantage of every solo adventure that I can think of from afternoons in the park with a book to trips across the country… I’m doing it alone and I’m never lonely.

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I Waited for Marriage

 

My Dad is a pastor and I was raised very conservatively. If you know anything about conservative Christians they’re very passionate about “waiting for marriage” for intimacy. But something I realized is that I was waiting for marriage for a lot of things.

I’ve been wanting a dog for a long time and one day I realized that I saw dog ownership as something that would happen for me when I was married and living with my husband.

Why can’t I have a dog now? I began to ask myself… and there was no real reason that I needed to wait. I have a flexible schedule and the means to support a pup. So why not?

I’ve always wanted to be a homeowner, but I never envisioned purchasing a house on my own. I figured buying a  home would be part of “settling down” when I got married. Maybe I saw it that way because my parents purchased their first house together, who knows… but now being a homeowner is something I’m looking at as a personal goal, not a goal saved for marriage.

I’m now saving to purchase a home and I’m starting to get very comfortable with the idea of having a home that I buy all by myself– it’s going to be such a major accomplishment, I’m excited!

So now I’m combing through all of the things I’ve ever wanted and exploring what it would look like to do them when I’m ready, not when I meet someone (because, what if he’s not ready?)

It’s funny because I’m always saying “Don’t wait on your weight to live the life you want” but maybe I need to add “Don’t wait on a husband to live the life you want” ha!

So those were the three adulting mistakes I’ve made in the past year– I love a cautionary tale, so take my mistakes and make them your own so you learn from them, okay?

If you’re feeling brave, leave a comment below and share an adulting mistake that you’ve made!

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17 responses on “3 Major Adulting Mistakes I Made This Year

  1. Regina

    I eagerly opened this as soon as I got the email notification because I already knew it would speak to me. I HEAR YOU GIRL! I’ve had very similar revelations recently, particularly about the life partner. I’ve never really waited on a partner to do anything but what I have done is listed the things I’m “lacking” and focused on those instead of listing what I have in abundance and celebrating them. The having a baby/husband thing vs having control of your time has been a constant battle in my head. I join you in enjoying the freedom and independence of taking care of ourselves and doing the things we love without hesitation. Thanks for sharing!!!

    1. CeCe Olisa Post author

      Well said Regina!! A friend recently suggested that I make a list of all of my blessings… it was a powerful exercise 🙂

  2. Liz

    It is so important to take of our health. As women, we take care of everything and everyone before ourselves. This year I got some disturbing news about my health. I made and am making some serious changes. I have resigned from my job. Some would say so what, but when you work for and with family it is different. But the stress has and is affecting my health. When I was your age I thought would I ever get married again…is there someone out there for me…and so on. I just gave up the negative thoughts and although I am with someone it’s not always as sweet as I thought. I say that to say this…enjoy yourself, live live and live. If he comes great and if he doesn’t great. I have had to learn that the hard way.

  3. Kamira

    Oh CeCe! I can guarantee this post will resonate with so many other women, myself included. I can totally relate to realizing you need to put yourself first. I worked at a large media company in midtown for years and grew unhappy so much so that it started to impact my spirit, physical and mental health. After months of internal debating I decided I wasn’t going to wait until end of the year and I shocked everyone when I up and quit and resigned with 2 weeks notice. Looking at the grand scheme of things, when we are all old and 90 years old in a nursing home, I don’t want to regret staying somewhere I was unhappy and ruining my health in the process for job that will replace you in 5 seconds. Life is too short to be unhappy and unfulfilled. As for feeling alone vs. living single, do it up girl! Like you said don’t wait on your weight! Same thing. When the day comes you do get married you’ll cherish moments alone to yourself, trust! (I’ve been happily married for 6+ years and counting ) but still like my alone time. Perhaps that’s the Aquarius in me?? Hmm… and yes like you I was very traditional in waiting for my husband so don’t feel discouraged. All will happen in God’s timing. You should be so proud of everything you’ve done and learned so far and will continue to do. Keep planning and dreaming for if we can dream it we can be it. Be blessed!

  4. Danette Ukattah

    Wow I never knew your dad is a Pästor, mine is too. One adult mistake was not taking my medication. One day I went to see the doctor and he said you’re going to have a stroke if don’t take care of your health, I decided from then on to start focusing on me. I also like the piece on not waiting on marriage or someone to enjoy life or buy a house, please enjoy every moment, this stage your in , it’s golden, am married and free time is scarce. Well I think now I will go to the beach without anybody and enjoy some alone time, thanks for your advice.

  5. Sheila

    CeCe, I love your blog and I’m so glad to hear that you’re taking care of yourself! I struggle with the same stuff. My advice: ADOPT THE DOG. It’s the best thing I’ve ever done. Aside from the avalanche of affection when you walk in the door, and the unconditional love — my dog ensures I get some fresh air and sunshine and activity every day, and interact with other people. As someone who’s struggled with anxiety and depression, it’s as crucial as any other medication I take.

    1. CeCe Olisa Post author

      I love that Sheila, I actually did bring a pup home… I just realized he’s on my instagram but I haven’t posted about him here on the blog yet! I’ll share our journey asap 🙂

  6. Dani

    What adutling mistake haven’t I made this year 😧? Lol.
    My biggest issue is gauging my success or failure by age. I’m 26 but feel like I’ve already fallen so far behind my imaginary life plan. I’m still single, not financially stable due to no fault of my own (stupid job market) and as a result, still at home. God had to knock me on my butt a time or two to make me realize it ain’t always about me. Still frustrated but starting to see things a little clearer.
    And, much like you, I used to hate going out solo. But one day last year I went to a Lauryn Hill concert alone and haven’t looked back since!! Next step, traveling alone. ❤

    1. CeCe Olisa Post author

      The imaginary life plan is so complicated… It’s hard to have goals but still be open to what God is doing in our lives *sigh*

  7. jen

    Hey hey, I’m late I forgot to answer. I have no problem sharing what I have learned. I am 31, and I learn all the time. I am learning a lesson as we speak. It is a simple concept. The people that you help at times do not appreciate it and will not see your problems as something they caused. If you are busy helping the world as I have for years and have nothing to fall back on, it is hard to pick up and start again. Which ties into my decision about a year ago to start a business, I never wanted to work for myself. I let fear and lack of faith in my abilities along with lack of support stop me from considering it for so long. I still have secure jobs, and I hope to keep one because its something I like to do, but the slow responses and people lacking my abilities have me wondering if consulting was a good business choice, This is in current progress, I do not know the lesson yet. The biggest one has to be on marriage. I will be a DR before I get married or you never know it may be in the same year because it’s about a year and some months away. I have no idea, but I do know that this wasn’t planned. I get tired of feeling as if a man, house, car, kids, and trips to the in-laws will make me feel complete. I was also tired of defending myself on how I do not desire children. I have learned to each their own and my life is my life. I will not be lonely, I will not feel left out nor will I feel that I have to have a kid to be part of my friend’s mommy groups which I go to now lol They have seen this and have eaten their words. I’ve learned and was told maybe its envy maybe its jealousy, do not let toxicity ruin your dreams. God has blessed me with these abilities and I thank him by making him first, so what am I proving to anyone? My anxiety gets the best of me, and now I have a better power over it to use my logical thinking to come back swinging. Something that is new this every year, this very week this very second. I learn everyday and its a powerful thing.

    1. CeCe Olisa Post author

      Wow Jen, sounds like you have amazing things on the horizon. I understand how hard it can be to work for yourself. Always feel free to contact me if you have any questions on that. Happy to help in any way I can 🙂

  8. Mvumikazi

    I am so glad i read this post in my 20’s because I can see myself making a lot of the same mistakes as well. for me, its wasting my time. the early 20’s can seen deceivingly eternal but i got to get it together, especially with my grades. also, I won’t wait till I’ve made better friends before i go in that road trip. I’ll do it solo.

    Mvumikazi | Urban Mnguni

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