Click here to listen!
Ah yes….you either love it or hate it….
Buuuttt I’m gonna guess that you hate it….why? Because it involves things like paying bills, working long hours, and doing things you don’t want to do.
The hash tag adulting phrase usually follows sentences full of disgust, sighs and frustrations about life’s responsibilities that are thrown one’s way.
But is all adulting equal? Meaning is adulting monolithic? Does adulting have to look the same universally? I’m mean what is adulting and who defines it? Is there a standard to what adulting looks like? And if you fall short of this then are you #childing? Who awards the trophy and passing grade to what adulting looks like? Are there certain societal grade marks that measure if one has passed the test of true adulting?
If so what are they?
Well if i had to take a stab at it (for which I actually want to do in real life….no really…i want to destroy this whole societal pressure to “adult” in the way it wants me to”…not that I don’t desire to be able to work, earn a living and take care of myself and my family….but to the degree to which it (meaning society) requires and demands of me….yeah i want to destroy it…..anyways if i had to take a stab at it I would say the top five things that show or prove that a person is adulting is #1 that you work and keep a full time job (with benefits I might add) #2 that you own your own home or rent with out any type of financial assistance #3 that you pay all your bills (on time I might add and w/out assistance) #4. That you feed yourself w/out depending on others #5 that you contribute back to society in some form or fashion (either via giving monetarily or taking care of your family) …
Whew! I am exhausting just listing those things out!
I mean this is the ultimate superhero lifestyle…I’m not saying that it can’t be done or that people aren’t and haven’t been doing it …but geez it is quite a demanding list that requires a relentless and long suffering diligent day in and day out pursuit. A pursuit for which many are finding it very difficult to accomplish. And because of it…they are questioning whether or not they have reached full adulthood.
They think “well geesh if i havn’t done any number of these things or if I’m struggling in any area then I’m not a successful adult…I’m not #adulting” They might even hear those around them either passively or directly tell them “grow up” you need to just “grow up and accept the responsibility of life”
Now before I get myself into a slippery slope here…i want to clarify that i am in no way supporting individuals who are not trying…meaning their internal motive is to mooch off people and use individuals to do any and everything because they are lazy. They don’t intend on working at all or being responsible for their actions (or lack thereof)….nope this public service announcement is not a ploy for me to be the poster child of these types of individuals.
But what I’m referring to are the people who have some level of effort to try and participate in the life responsibility process…yet are finding it incredibly challenging to do so.
I must say it almost feels like there’s this competition to “out do” the generation before you. A large part of this plays into the “adulting” mantra that stresses people out to the max! They think oh goodness if I’m not exceeding -or at least matching -what my parents did then i’m a failing adult…for those that don’t have a parental comparative …more than likely the comparison happens at the peer level….one thinks to themselves…if I’m not tracking at being able to produce the outputs of what I see people my age doing then who am I? I guess i’m not fully adulting….
As society continues to speed up at a rapid pace of inflation and being able to top our fellow person in economic status, material accomplishment and overall winning….one can feel like they can never ever reach the pinnacle point of fully actualizing adulthood.
Because the bar is just too high.
With more and more disloyalty in the marketplace and uncertainty of long term and sustainable wage earning….a large number of people may feel like ducks….above water they look like they are cruisin’ ….but a look underneath the surface their legs are paddling away with an intense level of velocity.
So who is “doin it”? Are we all putting this imaginary cultural pressure on each other to #adult ….when in actuality no one is? Or very few can say that they are
It seems as though the individuals who quote un quote are…have been able to reach a financial hurdle that most others have not been able to reach. And for the ones who are financially taking care of or contributing to others who have not been able to … what I’ve experienced is that they often shake their heads in disdain towards the individuals who they are financially assisting and look down on them as though they are not capable human beings. These individuals often use their financial prowess as a means of identity and elevation over others as though they have figured it out and don’t understand why others cannot do what they have done.
Now I am by no means taking away these individuals hard work and sacrifice that they quite possibly have endured. All I’m saying is…that oftentimes the grace for others is lacking for those who have not been either afforded the opportunity or success those other individuals have. And they are often looked down upon and patronized because they have not matched that persons level of accomplishment.
Typically this dynamic is often shown in a parent to child or previous generation to next generation dynamic.
Now as mentioned earlier, with adulting comes the ever so popular notion of settling down and buying a home.
One day…As my dad and I drove around town, we drove passed a ton of residential areas for which my father said to me: “gosh why do people keep building these huge homes??” I then replied to him, well pops…I actually think that will start to end at my generation and below because we are finding out that’s just not the type of lifestyle we want to live.” I further relayed to him that with movements such as the tiny house, minimalism and shared-living space…the idea of home ownership for many is fading away. This is not to say that people my age and below are not buying homes, but the huge 4-5+ bedrooms that drink $600 of utility bills is just not something that is appealing or realistic to people my age. I mean who can afford it even if it IS appealing???
I sometimes wonder who are the people moving into these 300k+ builds and wonder if they are a part of a new underground mafia or something that I have not been privy to.
Anyways…oftentimes the mark of true adulting comes with the official stamp of home ownership. It shows that you are stable and that you are mature enough to enter into a long term commitment. Right? Well, for some …they would disagree with this definition. As some home owners are not mature at all and are not ready to fulfill a long term commitment by any means.
Speaking of maturity, can one fulfill that previously mentioned top 5 list and be considered an adult yet lack the emotional and mental maturity of being an adult?
How many people are “adulting” in the physical sense….yet #childing in the behavioral sense???
Now THAT is the true question…
Why do we put so much emphasis and weight on whether or not someone is able to produce external outcomes …yet overlook and give passes to people who have yet to “grow up” internally??
I guess we say “well as long as they are not asking me for money…then they can act and behave however they want to be.” But when you start affecting my wallet then all of sudden we have a problem….
Goodness! Everything boils down to money. CREAM. Cash rules everything around me…
So today’s conversation starter asks the question…What does adulting look like to you?
I encourage all who are struggling in the area of feeling like you don’t measure up to society’s or even your friends and families remarks about why you are not #adulting to take a moment and have the internal conversation with yourself first.
Ask yourself…who am I living for?
To what standard am I comparing my life to and why?
How has my life’s journey developed thus far and to what degree can I be grateful for the many ways in which I have grown?
What areas in my life are things that I am working on growing but need patience and grace for my self if they are not immediately coming to pass?
Finally, if i am truly trying…How can I be okay with where I’m at and not feel as those because I am not “there” that I am not validated as an adult?
Truly ask yourself these questions and give yourself the freedom to receive and explore it’s answers.