As of last Friday, I’ve been an adult for ten years. Ten.
I must say, I’m a pretty impressive adult. Last week, I flooded the laundry trying to wash my clothes. A couple of days ago, I tried to stand up from my chair, tripped on my skirt and then fell on the restaurant table.
And I still half expect praise for washing dishes.
Most 20-somethings I know use the term “adulting” ironically and don’t actually expect a gold star for doing the food shopping or paying a bill.
I know these fairly standard tasks don’t deserve accolades. They are regular things adults do.
I just keep waiting for it to kick in. That adulting instinct.
The drive to cook, clean, wash hair, pay bills, make appointments, keep your shit together.
It’s rather elusive.
What classifies as an adult, anyway?
More and more I’m finding my age measured against other people’s significant life events.
Due to my penchant for brunch and lack of a love life, these milestones of marriage and house-buying are well out of reach. And to be honest, not on my wish list.
So instead, I grip tighter to frivolous adulting tasks with every birthday.
While everyone’s getting hitched, I’m making fun of my adulting skills and running away overseas.
I’m embracing adulting.
Words matter. I’ve banged on about the power of language plenty of times. No matter how unimportant we think a few words may be, their use can change so much.
So, is adulting a fun way of looking at growing up or is it trivialising an important life stage and its responsibilities?
Are we perpetuating the stereotype of snowflake millennials that need participation medals to feel special?
I’d like to think we can have a nuanced (enough) conversation and acknowledge that life is messy and unknown, that celebrating small wins is important, and that everyone else is muddling through this as well.
Because critical thought should be an adulting skill too.
It never kicks in
This was the single most freeing realisation of my life. While being part of the Governor’s Leadership Foundation program, I was surrounded by highly competent, accomplished adults.
Turns out, everyone was just as perplexed about life as I was.
Maybe slightly better at not flooding laundry floors, but nonetheless, everyone had their challenges – it hadn’t magically gotten easier.
It’s pretty freeing to know that no-one else has their shit together either. (In the best way possible).
You can accomplish amazing things – flaws, hurdles and all ❤