Adulthood is as awful as it can be amazing. You are able to own a home, raise children/dogs/whatever animal you choose, and you can eat ice cream for any and all meals that you may want without your mother informing you that you will get the biggest belly ache of you life. Yes, you will likely get a giant belly ache, and probably a sugar induced headache from consuming that much Hood chocolate chip deliciousness, but dammit I’m an adult and I want to. I choose it. I choose that deliciousness over my maple and brown sugar oatmeal.

Okay, maybe I did have Special K Honey n’ Oats instead of a delicious bowl of ice cream. Why, after all that ranting about “me being an adult, Imma do what I want”, did I eat a bowl of healthy cereal for breakfast? Because the important thing about being an adult is making choices, the right choices. As much as I want to eat ice cream all day long, it isn’t reasonable, healthy and it’s expensive. (Aforementioned ice cream comes at $5 a half-gallon when not on sale. You do the math.) Additionally, what would that show my kids? That they can eat ice cream all day long because mommy does it, and then I raise statistics rather than children, considering how terrible the stats for obese children in our country. It’s bad enough both boys and my lab have all picked up my nail biting habit. Choices.

As children, you make dumb choices all the time. If you’re lucky, those dumb choices will provide consequences to make you less dumb as you’re older. What happens when you grow up without any consequences to your dumb choices? You continue to make them because why not? Then, likely you look at other people who make great life choices and think “why can’t I have that?” The answer? Because YOU made a choice, and you need to either make a different choice or stop complaining about how awful things are. Because you can make choices because you are an adult.

My husband made choices to work his butt off to provide for his family. As a result, he’s a 29-year-old man and father of 2, who owns a home and can make sure that everyone is taken care of. We made a choice that our children were better off in my care than daycare, especially considering the obscene cost of daycare, so now I’m at home raising children and tending to the house. I could choose to sit around and play video games or watch television/movies all day, and every now and again I do make that choice. Instead, I’m trying to follow my dreams as a writer, and make some extra money doing so. Because I want to contribute to my household and because I want to show my children that following your dreams is important, as is being a contributing member of society.

Next time you look at something in your life that you don’t like, remember that you have a choice to change it. You can choose to go back school if you don’t like your job. You can choose to move out of your neighborhood if it’s really that bad. You can go to school if you can’t find a job, or find training and job centers to help you find something you like or may even love, or just something to help you get by. If you don’t make choices to change things, how can you possibly expect things to change? Our parents can’t help us all the time; they’ve done their job and they hope they have raised us self-sufficient enough to be responsible and functioning adults. Our parents can’t wave a magical wand to fix our choices like they could when we were kids because we’re adults in a sink or swim world. You’re the only one who can make your choices. You’re the only one who can change those choices. And if you’re not willing to, why should anyone else?

You’re going to stumble in adulthood. Some months you will worry about how a bill will get paid, or how much is on your credit cards. You will have to make tough decisions, like “is this neighborhood safe for my family?” or are the “schools good enough?” and be willing to make changes if necessary. You may not have anything in your savings account, or have to live off ramen a month straight. But life is hard and it’s sometimes painful to experience, but you can choose how you deal with it. You can make the choice to sit there and take it, or you can make the choice to change it. Choices.

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