How do you know when you’re really an adult?
It seems like a pretty simple question. What’s more, is that it seems like it should have a pretty simple answer. But it doesn’t, does it? Especially when you consider how many times in your life you actually think you ARE an adult. How many times can you be wrong? You be the judge.
Let’s start around 18. You’re out of high school. You’re now independent. Unless you went to college, in which case, your adulthood has been put on hold until you graduate or drop out. Let’s face it, college students are NOT adults. If you pass on college and get a job, then I guess you ARE independent. Sounds like an adult to me. At least it did then. Looking back now, you realize you were just a child. Big deal you had a job. If it was full time, it was the first time. If you were still living at home, you weren’t independent. What bills did you have? Room and board? That’s rich. What I wouldn’t give to throw someone $100 a week for everything under the sun. To have a nice house to live in, a phone in your room, and cable tv. To get up everyday knowing that there is food in the fridge because my money paid for someone to shop for me. Sounds awesome, to say the least. Of course, you know now that that’s not real life. You may have been an adult in the eyes of the government, but you most definitely, were not an adult.
Then comes 21. Oh, to be 21 again. You’ve taken that big leap since 18, which is to say, now you can drink legally. Wow, what a leap. Chances are at this point that you look down on 18 year olds as dumb kids who know nothing about real life. That’s because you have hopefully moved out on your own and started having some real world responsibilities. You know, like who’s coming over to party that weekend and how much weed am I gonna need. You pay your bills, when you can, because the worst case scenario is that you move back in with your parents. It must be nice to have such an easy backup plan. I’m sure they’ll be thrilled. You’re content to live off ramen noodles, doritos, oreos and coke and oh yeah, if it can’t be cooked in the microwave, except the ramen, it’s not for you. You have now failed to be an adult again.
Then you get to your mid 20’s. Now you’re finally there. You’ve been on your own for some time now. The club scene is still cool, but you’re past the party days. Your apartment is a little nicer, as is the food in the pantry. You’ve managed to be employed at the same place for a few years, and you have your first out of the house expense. A car payment. In addition, you think you’ve found “the one.” You haven’t! You’ve had your cable shut off. You’ve been late with the rent and you’ve had a baby scare. Oh, don’t forget about the baby scares. Now you have accumulated some real world experiences. However, you’re likely not married, and don’t own a house, and you’re still voting for guys who play saxophone on The Arsenio Hall Show. Whoop whoop whoop.
Aaaaah, 30. Certainly you must be an adult by now. There’s a good chance that you are married or have been. Oh yes, many of you are divorced by 30. Mainly because you were too naive to realize you weren’t an adult yet. Haven’t you been reading this blog? 😉 You may have kids, and own a house by now. Well, have a mortgage. You don’t own anything if you’re still paying for it. Of course you know that already because you’re an adult, right. If you’re still single, without any signs of a companion on the horizon, you are probably ahead of the married people in a lot of ways, but you’re miles behind in relationship experience. That’s a huge deduction for being an adult. I know thinking you don’t need anyone makes you feel like an independent adult, but it just means you have commitment issues. Issues = non-adult. Just my opinion.
Then comes 40. By now, you are, or have been married, so you know what it takes to make a relationship work, or not work. You have kids, and your heart has ached for them everytime something bad has happened to them. You have a job, but you’ve probably lost one in your life when you couldn’t afford to. You actually know a little something about the politicians you are voting for, but you are genuinely frustrated at the job they do. You’ve watched your favorite team FINALLY win it all, and then your second favorite team, then your third and your fourth. However, you remember not winning, but who cares about that? 😉 Someone close to you has died, but you are able to remember a special moment with them easily. You have had every bill known to man, and likely have been unable to pay each one of them at some point in your life. You have had almost all the experiences that one person needs to have to qualify as an adult. So, you’ve finally made it to adulthood.
Until you realize that you’re drinking out of the milk carton, hoping nobody catches you.