Friday, June 29, 2018

When I Realized I Was An Adult

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At what point did you realize you were an adult? I know that sounds like a silly question, but stay with me. Legally, in the United States, you're an adult at 18. But let me tell you- I was definitely not an adult at 18.

What is an adult? Merriam-Webster defines an adult as 'fully developed and mature.' says it is 'a person who has attained the age of maturity as specified by law.' 

You can drive at 16. You can vote at 18. You can drink at 21. You can rent a car at 25. Do these things make you an 'adult'? I'm not quite sure. 

Are you an adult once you graduate from sitting at the kid's table on holidays (I still sit at the kid's table)? Are you an adult once you own your own home? Once you have children of your own? Once you adopt an animal?

When do you 'become' an adult? I asked myself this question in a blog post five years ago. I was 23. It's funny to read now. 

When I was younger, I thought becoming an adult was something that happened overnight. You're a child and then a teenager. Then, you go to college, graduate, and poof- you are out in the real world as an adult

I just turned 28 in April. That number sounds old to me. I know it's not. I don't feel old. But it sounds old. Besides old, it sounds very adult, too. And very close to 30. Woah.

For most of my 20's, I have felt like a 'fake' adult. What's that saying about a wolf in sheep's clothing? I have often felt like 'a child in adult's clothing'. I think a lot of you in your 20's might be able to understand what I mean and quite possibly even be able to relate. 

Ever since I graduated college I was always wondering when I would feel like an adult? And the answer is that I still feel like I'm a child sometimes, but you know what? At 28 I feel way more like an adult than a child.

I thought I would share that feeling with you all because when I take requests for content each month, there is a reoccurring theme and that is growing up and navigating life. It's such a broad topic and there are so many small specific questions that you all ask. So, I thought I would open it up first with a discussion between all of us here!

So tell me in the comments, when did you start to feel like a 'real' adult? If you don't know 'when', what types of life experiences made you think to yourself 'wow I'm really an adult'? 

Here's my answer: I started feeling like a true adult mid-27 and onward. The specific, random types of things that make me feel like an adult have been: investing, wearing sensible shoes over high heels, going to certain bars and feeling way too old, getting my own health insurance, thinking and planning for retirement, preferring a night-in, being more conscious of my overall health, taking care of Henry, realizing one of my favorite movies (The Parent Trap) is 20 years old, hearing that 18-year-olds were born in 2000! A lot of these are silly, but they really do make me feel like an adult. 

A more broad reason as to why I feel like an adult is because I feel like I really know who I am. I know what I like and dislike. I know what I am willing to compromise on and what I am not. I know my worth. I care so much less about what anyone thinks of me. I have goals both personally and professionally. I know who my true friends are. I realize what is truly important in life. Overall, I feel like I have it together! But I also know I have so much to learn and I am willing and open to always learning new things to better myself.


Beth R said...

This is a great post! Really well done. Thank you for sharing!

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this post :) This is awesome and makes one think.

It's funny a lot of those things make me feel like an adult - but mostly it's walking into somewhere looking at what the younger girls are wearing now a days and going "when I was in hs my mom never would have let me walk out of the house like that". Haha!

When I start to sound like my parents - I know I am #adulting

Happy Friday Sydney!


Anonymous said...

I love this post! The truth is, I am a 30-year-old attorney in an industry that requires me to advise very, very powerful (mostly) men that are household names and I still don't feel like a 'real' adult all the time. The other night, I was leaving a dinner at a 5* restaurant at which I was the only woman, the only person under 50, and the only person who doesn't appear on national news on the reg. As I stood waiting for my Uber in my suit dress and pumps to return home to the astronomically priced apartment that I pay for myself, I thought "wow, I am the woman younger me always dreamed of being." The next morning, I had a few personal crises that led to me calling my dad at work and was right back to feeling like a little girl who still needed her daddy.

Cee Cee from KY said...

Okay so anonymous attorney above really nailed it- realizing I have become the person the younger me dreamed of becoming. I'm also a 30 year old attorney (corporate) so maybe this is a theme, but having days where I really kick a** at my job (5 years in now), make me feel like I've really made it. The other thing would probably be two "changes" that happened really close together, which were my two best friends announcing their (very planned!) pregnancies, and then my husband and I getting engaged, married, and buying a house. Those events happening between 28 and 30, really cemented me feeling like an "adult" in the past two years. I'm not mad about it- I was THRILLED to turn the big 3-0 this spring!

Kelly said...

Good question! I got married at 22 (like Annie Banks from Father of the Bride ;) ) but I woke up the next morning and literally thought to myself, "What have I DONE?! I am a child!" I did quickly get over the panic, haha, but it still took several years to feel grownup. I got pregnant and we bought a house at 25, so that felt like the "official" turning point. I remember getting my first forehead wrinkles at 24 and thinking I was old -- ha! Now that I have children I feel definitively more adult. I empathize more with parents, even parents of teenagers or young adults. I "get" my parents so much more. Every new layer of life seems to open my eyes to a new dimension of existence. Some things definitely creep up on you, whereas others feel like official MOMENTS of crossing over into new territory.

esti said...

I think I firstly felt like an adult two years ago at 22 when I got married. and even more two months ago when I had my baby girl and I understood that I no longer responsible only to myself. I love your post!

Belinda said...

Some days, I still feel like "a child in adult's clothing" - and I am 35.

I feel adult in my job (I am a public official in the civil service here in Germany), and when we rented our house two years ago. "We" are not married, but in a relationship for about 15 years now. Yes, this should make me feel like an adult :)

But when I am sitting on my sofa, cuddled up with yoga pants and an oversized sweater, watching Gilmore Girls - I feel like Rory and I have the same age :)

So, I guess this adult thing changes every day. And I am totally okay with that.

Brenna Duke said...

I am 32, and have a 9 month old. I guess I'm an adult! I do very adult things. But I always seek comfort in finding "adultier" adults than me. You know, the parents with 3 year old children are more adult than I am. My parents, the 40 years olds. They're all older and wiser and thus have advice to impart and knowledge to bestow! I like not being the adultiest adult in the bunch, because then what? I also like not being the least adult person and having some knowledge to bestow myself. Great post!


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