What makes an adult an adult? Before you start: Will everyone’s answer match yours? The obvious response should be no. So why do we feel the need to advise others on what they should or shouldn’t be doing with their lives? More importantly, why do we twenty-some things have the urge to ask Google how to adult? No one that has it all figured out. Especially the people telling you what to do.
From what I’ve gathered, the “internet people” believe that being an adult means drowning your inner child. Don’t complain; go to work; get a check; come home; pay the bills. So on and so on. I agree with some things. Everyone should know the basic survival skills like doing laundry, cooking, changing tires, etc. But when it comes down to the aesthetics, how are you going to tell me how to adult?
They don’t say much about the childlike traits you should keep. Of course you should stop being irresponsible and let go of your immaturity. But creativity? Enthusiasm? Spontaneity? Imagination? The older we get, the less we’re encouraged to be inventive. These days we’re more likely to work/think/create for someone else. Don’t get me wrong, some people love their jobs but most of the people I meet are working miserably.
Why aren’t there more art classes or workshops for adults? Art is therapeutic and you’ll need it a lot more once you’re older. It’s like creativity only exists when we talk about decorating our new place (if we do), planning weddings, or throwing parties. Be innovative while you cook tonight; try to draw or write something in your downtime; make something instead buying it (soap, lotion, etc.); think of ways to make your chores fun and exciting. Also, you may not realize it but adult coloring books can help you in more ways than one.
There are zillions of ways to live (don’t quote me on that). So again, how is it possible to have one way to be an adult? It’s perfectly fine for you to make suggestions. But you can’t tell me to make phone calls instead of texting; sometimes I don’t feel like speaking. Plus, it’s easier to sugar coat things in a text message. You can’t say every adult should have a car. It’s not beneficial to all of us. And not everyone wants to settle down and have a family. There’s nothing wrong with that.
To me, being an adult is just taking full responsibility for your actions. Listen more, pay attention to what you’re doing, get to know yourself, and figure out what you want to do with your life. Most adults don’t know what they want before they turn 30. Probably because we’re forced to figure it out in high school. Which is how some of us end up with jobs we hate.
40 to 50 percent of all marriages end in divorce. Maybe it’s because some of us feel forced into it and barely know who we’re sleeping next to. Maybe it’s because many of us don’t know how to compromise, listen, or work things out. We jump to conclusions often and assumptions are like bible verses to us; so heavily believed. I’m not an expert. I just go by what I see.
Many of us are just doing things that are expected of us. We try to act nonchalant to the things that really bother us because we don’t want to complain. We think we’re just supposed to deal with it. Then we end up with feelings/emotions we can’t explain, depression, and loneliness. We constantly look to others to make us happy instead of ourselves. Why?
If you’re an adult with no children and you want to watch Pixar movies, please do. If you want to stay out all night and party (and your kids are taken care of), please do. Do you think you should drop out of college and travel the world? Do that. This is so obvious but I still feel the need to say it: No one else has to live your life but you. That means YOU need to do what makes YOU happy.
Of course you’re going to make some people upset but do you really want to spend your life tiptoeing around someone else’s? When (if) you have grandchildren, do you want to tell them you spent your entire life living for someone else? Life isn’t short. The people who say that are usually the ones who sit around, wasting away. Until, one day, they realize how much time has passed. The average life expectancy is 78.7 years. If you’re living to your full potential and doing what you love, you’ll barely notice the time.
I worked at the post office with people who’ve been there for decades and they hated it. I’ve encountered plenty of elderly people who wished they had done things differently and I see many of my peers following in their footsteps. Learn from the people who are currently miserable. Better yet, learn from things that are making you anguished. You don’t have to be unhappy. You’re choosing that life. Change it. And don’t let anyone tell you how to adult.