"Adulting" is a word that has infiltrated our collective consciousness, being used to described the process of growing up and doing typical "adult" things.
Considering that my mom is my best friend, the stories she's shared with me about her past have taught me it's OK to fail and that I must accept myself exactly as I am.
More than that, she has taught me a great deal about growing up, reassuring me that, although my struggle may be very real right now, I am strong enough to overcome whatever I encounter and make it to the other side.
So if you, like me, share a similar bond with your mom, here are just a few of the many things I learned about adulting from my mom:
1. It's OK not to feel your age.
Life experiences shape who we are — that's a fact.
And certain experiences make us grow up faster than others, but this doesn't make your journey more or less important than someone else's.
You may have had to become incredibly independent at age 18 because you were forced to support yourself. Maybe you lost a parent and had to become the man or woman of the house at a young age. Or maybe you had parental support up through your late 20s, and you're just now taking on new responsibilities.
Whatever experience you have, you may feel older or younger than you actually are. And that's OK.
There is no shame in your personal life experience because it has shaped you into the person you were always meant to be. So enjoy the journey, no matter what happens during it.
2. Learn from your mistakes.
Although we can't fix our past mistakes, we can always learn from them.
My mom always reminded me that it's OK if I fail or stumble in life, as long as I learn my lesson and work hard to move forward.
And knowing my mom always supports me in my pursuits allows me to get back up when I fall.
But sometimes, it's still pretty hard to immediately learn from our mistakes. We often have to make the same exact mistakes once, twice or even three times to finally learn the lesson.
And when you think about it, the universe is kind of brilliant in that way.
It continues to present us with the exact same situations and experiences we need to learn from until we do learn, and it always gives us the opportunity to learn at our own pace and act differently.
3. Life is too short, so always choose happiness.
Although I am an only child and, therefore, quite spoiled in comparison to a lot of my friends, my mom always highlighted the fact that her love was unconditional.
She always reminded me that life is only lived once, and she constantly reinforced the importance of family and how vital they are to happiness.
Growing up, I was fortunate enough to be able to travel at least once a year with my parents on vacations.
Whether we were in Disney World or just at the local beach, we made sure to participate in activities as a family, rather than just focusing on doing our own thing.
This instilled a sense of harmony and peace in me that I carry every single day. It's also led me to push myself out of my comfort zone and accept that, sometimes, life doesn't always go the way you planned (and that's OK when you have a support system).
Our mothers birthed us into this world, hoping for the best, all while teaching us how to successfully grow up and become real adults.
And my own beautiful mother has taught me how to be the woman I am today, and for that, I will always be eternally grateful.