Big, Scary Stuff

And how I’m trying not to get spooked.

It’s Halloween. By far, one of my favourite parts of living in Canada has been the opportunity to embrace North American holidays. October in Vancouver is downright festive — the streets are littered in falling leaves and pops of autumnal colours, while Thanksgiving and Halloween celebrations are welcome distractions from the dreary grey and rain that starts to creep in — and will probably stick around for the next six months.

But this Halloween I’ve been a bit distracted from my usual obsessive search for the perfect pumpkin to carve. I’m starting to realise that becoming an adult really starts in earnest when you have to face the big, scary stuff — financial decisions like buying a home, investing, and planning for your future.

And yes, even writing that sentence makes me want to fall asleep.

This past month — but especially this week — has been all about weighing decisions that seem huge but actually aren’t that complex if you can remove the emotion (at least a little). Should we buy? In Australia or Canada? What are the tax implications? The mortgage rates? The fees? It starts feeling mind-boggling complicated but it’s mostly mind-boggling dull. It’s way too easy to put it off for another night, another weekend, and suddenly, your self-imposed deadline to make a decision has arrived.

The thing is, this “big scary stuff” is really more bark than bite. As we’ve been muddling through these waters, I’ve started to realise that most people I know are winging it. Yes, even those friends and family members who seem to have it all together — the “real”, proper adults. All you can do is seek advice, research, and try something out to see if it works. But the important thing is to start.

It sounds cliched, but I’m going to try to stop putting off tomorrow . “Adulting” can be incredibly confusing and incredibly dull at the same time. But sometimes you have face your fears to discover that the monster under your bed really isn’t so bad — or in my case, even that boring.

Maybe we really can ace this adult thing after all. We just have to make sure we don’t get spooked too easily, Halloween or not.

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