Growing up does not have to be boring.

I am an adult, for all intents and purposes. Legally, I'm considered an adult by age alone. I can fight for our country if I want to. I can drink. I make responsible financial decisions and I'm responsible for the life of another being. People depend on me for things. But I'm also still really into having fun. Fiancé and I play videogames and board games. I read children's books and young adult books and sci-fi and all sorts of stuff like that. I buy nerdy t-shirts and think cartoons are great.

Basically, I still indulge in what some would call "childish" things. In fact, I don't just indulge in these things, but I'm openly enthusiastic about them. These are not closet hobbies. These are part of my character.

And whenever these things come up around certain people, I get these... looks. Sometimes they are looks that say, "You're such an adorable human being for your childish ways," and sometimes they say, "Okay, but seriously. When is this going to stop? When are you going to grow up already?"

And the answer to that second one is this: I already have and I constantly am.

My childlike (there is a difference, by the way, between "childish" and "childlike" and I prefer the latter) ways are things that I don't want to lose. They are the qualities that I like best about myself.

And even if you think I am just a kid in an adult's body, what is so wrong with taking a page out of their book? Kids are happy (for the most part) and they're honest. Kids are open to new ideas and they are imaginative. Kids have fun. Who ever decided that we ought to stop doing that just because a few years have passed?

So yeah, I'm growing up, but I'm still making life a fun game for myself. Cleaning the house? It's a game. I earn points. Paying taxes? My friends and I get together for a tax party and get through it as a group with fun music and alcohol (which is not for children). Voting? If we are able, We make it a group event and we celebrate afterwards.

Because life should be fun, no matter how old you are. Fun shouldn't be a special occasion, it should be a constant priority, and advancing in age shouldn't mean decreasing the amount of fun you have. In fact, it should be quite the opposite. Your job should be fun. Your friends should be fun. Your relationships should be fun.

And you know what? You're an adult. You get to decide whatever  you want to do with your life, right? So why wouldn't you choose fun?

When I Said Yes, I Learned to Say No.

Getting married is often seen as a sign of adulthood. I don't think it's a universal rule, but I don't think that it can be argued that marriage is a thing for children. So, when I got engaged I expected to learn a lot of things, but learning to say no wasn't one of them. I've never been good at saying no to people. I am at my very core a people-pleaser. If someone is sad, I want to cheer them up. If someone is angry, I want to fix it. If I am the cause of any negative feelings, I have a tendency to spiral into a deep hole of self-loathing. After all, my whole internet (and "real world") presence is all about how you are awesome and I am foolish and while we are all a little foolish, we need to learn to embrace it and learn to love ourselves. Together.

So for me to say no to people is... rare. And painful.

But now I have a lot of people and businesses offering to do things for me. And I have a lot of people telling Fiancé and I what our wedding should and should not be like and how things are done and why we shouldn't do them differently.

And I've had to say no. For the sake of saving our sanity and having the wedding that we want.

"No, we do not want passed hors d'oeuvres." (but yes, I will always google how to spell that word)

"No, our wedding party will not be a traditional one."

"No, we will not be doing <insert traditional, but gross ceremonial thing here> because it doesn't jive with who we are."

"I understand that you're nice and just trying to run a business, but no, I will not be paying that much for flowers."

These are all things that used to terrify me. I'm the girl who goes to a flea market and bargains to pay more for something. If I'm being taken advantage of, that's bad karma for them, right?

Wrong.

And I always used to think that I could avoid saying no by disguising it with a yes, but that doesn't work here. Sometimes, especially when planning a wedding, you have to say "No."

And the other tricky part? Not apologizing for it.

The guilt I feel over turning people down is staggering, but I'm also learning that it's a little egocentric. Obviously, I will always take other's feelings into account (or I'll try to), but it turns out that everyone's success doesn't rely on me. It turns out that saying no to some people is actually helpful in weird ways. It feels terrible to say it, and I will be far from bitchy about it (or, again, I'll try), but I don't need to beg for their forgiveness over it.

And all of this is because I'm learning something bigger: Our dreams and what we want is worth fighting for.

Fiancé and I have built what we feel is a beautiful dream for our wedding day. We reserve the right to stick to those plans even if they make others confused or ask questions. If we find vendors who won't do what we want, we've learned that there are vendors and people who will, and saying no to one means saying yes to another. We can't hire everyone and we can't make everyone happy, but what we can do is celebrate our love the way that we want to with the people that we want to and hope that everyone has a blast in the process.

So, I'm here to tell you that it's okay to say no to people when it comes to standing up for what you want and who you are. Be kind about it and be gentle (we are, after all, all human beings), but if you are also a person who hates saying no, give it a shot. Pick your moments, of course (so maybe don't start with your boss), but find someone, who you are constantly just saying yes to in order to avoid confrontation (roommate? sibling? friend?) and say "You know what, that's not what I want. Can we do something different?"

Chances are, they might say yes.

Holy Crap This Thing is Awesome #1: Habitica

So I've been thinking about doing a blog post once a month to feature something that I'm really into at the moment. This could be a product or a blog or an app. Whatever. I don't want to be paid for these or given free stuff for them (I mean, free stuff is great, but just because I get it doesn't mean I'll write about it), I just want to find stuff that I'm super into and tell the world about that stuff because that's what you do when you like something: You share it. If you don't care at all or don't want to know about this or hate these types of blog posts, please let me know. This blog is not about to become some marketing place. I'm honestly just trying to spread the word about things that I love. I've already done one of these about Litsy, in fact, but that was before I really had this whole "regularly scheduled" idea. Aside from these monthly posts, I'll still be doing my regular weird and embarrassing stories. I would, of course, love your input and comments about what you're into right now too! Let's talk more to each other and share ideas and fun stuff!

I'm going to call this series the "Holy Crap This Thing is Awesome and I Want People To Know How Awesome It Is" Series. Or maybe it needs a shorter title. Story of my life. Maybe just "Holy Crap This Thing Is Awesome." Is that better? Tell me in the comments.

Anyway... on to the thing!

Habitica

habitica Habitica is a to-do list app/website that I am in love with because it is for people like me: nerds who want everything to be fun.

I am a fan of fun. Laundry is not fun. Cleaning the toilet is not fun. But when you are a level 7 warrior who earns points for cleaning the toilet so that you can level up and battle monsters via doing laundry and washing dishes, you become a toilet cleaning MACHINE. This app has motivated me like nothing else before.

I am a big fan of rewards for getting stuff done. I often tell myself that I'm not allowed to read or watch tv or play videogames until I've done something productive that I'm not in the mood to do. This app kind of takes care of that. Now, instead of saying "Emelie, clean the bathroom and then you're allowed to watch an episode of Jane the Virgin (OH MY GOD THAT SHOW)," I can say "Emelie, accomplish enough stuff on your to-do list to level up and feed your zombie wolf and then you can watch Jane the Virgin."

It. Is. Wonderful.

Also, these graphics! Oh my gosh, they're so great! They bring me back to the 8-bit days of yore and I love them.

Oh! And you can team up with your friends and build a party and go on quests to battle monsters and conquer the lands of productivity! It's amazing! So then you're also holding your friends accountable and they're holding you accountable and you're all adulting in a way that you can't even handle because no one told you it would be this fun.

Habitica, you've revolutionized my life. I love you. Thank you for making cleaning the toilet fun.

So, what are you super into right now? What thing do you think is awesome? Talk about it in the comments!