What Even is Adulting™?

One of my most irrational fears in life is that I’m going to grow up and just completely suck at adulting. This is extremely ridiculous, especially because I am mostly responsible and technically already an adult. For whatever reason, I still see myself as a child terrified of what my parents will think of me. Sometimes, I’ll go out with my friends to do Adult things and I’ll get a nervous knot in my stomach like “I don’t think my Mommy wants me doing this…” Or I’ll get asked if I want to open a credit card while shopping and instinctively, I’ll turn to look at my mom, who isn’t there, like “why are you asking me? I’m clearly not old enough.” But I am. I am old enough.

For the most part, I think I just don’t really know what being an adult means, so I don’t think I know how to be one. If someone were to ask me what adults do all day, I’d probably paint a picture of someone in a suit, sitting around a desk, clicking away on their keyboard, while on a “very important business call”, drinking coffee (the coffee is very important). These are all things I do. I wear suits to meetings sometimes. I sit around a desk. I write on my laptop. I’ve taken calls. I drink a disgusting amount of coffee every day. By my own definition, I am an adult. So why don’t I feel like one?

This was bothering me for a while. Sometimes I have conversations with other people my age, and I say things about being an adult now, and they correct me with “We’re not adults, we’re 20.”  And it really reinforces the feeling of playing a really long dress up game in which, I am faking maturity as well as my understanding of adult things. I mean, I still laugh ridiculously hard at anything that could be even slightly suggestive. I burp, loudly, and then rate my own burp and laugh about it with my friend. I don’t exactly understand how taxes work, but to be fair, I don’t think anyone else does either. I think credit is stupid and I hate it. Adult television is wack as fuck, let’s admit it, cartoons are far superior. Last but not least, babies kind of freak me out and I don’t know how to react when someone tells me they’re having one. My mind kind of goes blank for a second and then all I can imagine is someone building a child out of Lego blocks and bringing it up to people the same way a child brings its creation up to others and goes “look what I made!”

None of these things are Adult™ but I think, and I could be wrong here… that everyone is faking it too. I feel like a child in a suit that is too big for me, but so does everyone else…probably. This is a secret mission we’re all on, here, none of us know what we’re doing or what it all means.

I went into a sex store the other day, and I was laughing at the dicks, because of course I was, and two things happened. 1. Some dude rolled his eyes at me and my friend because a sex store is a place of serious business only, obviously. 2. Two older gay men walked up next to us, grabbed the biggest, most ridiculous dick off the shelf, waved it around and laugh along with us. Why? Because dicks are funny, and age probably won’t change that.

I have a friend who I look up to as an elder. She’s about 33 and easily the most responsible person I know, but we’ve yet to have a day where we don’t make inappropriate jokes at one another and I love it.

My mother regularly tells me that I am not mature enough to be an adult, and I don’t know what that meeeaaaannnnssss!

I don’t mean to be ‘fake’ deep, but what even is maturity? Physically, I hit maturity years ago. Mentally, I am perfectly capable of planning and carrying out important tasks. But should that mean I don’t get to laugh at dick jokes anymore?

I don’t think so. I don’t like how we define growth. The sentiment “I am older so I leave childish things behind” is lame. I think it should be more like “I am older. I carry the things I love with me.”

I think life should be about enjoying what you enjoy and making the most out of those moments. I’ve seen people roll their eyes at adults who are clearly having a good time on the street and say dumb things like “why don’t they get off the street and go to work?” Why? Being older shouldn’t mean that we shouldn’t or won’t have these moments. Instead of worrying about not being “adult enough”, I think we should just be.


  1. I’ll be 53 in a couple of months. The only time I feel my age is during those first couple of steps when I get out of bed in the morning. I don’t look my age. I hate to ‘act’ my age. I still feel awkward in many social situations. And you’re right, nobody really understands taxes. Adulting is all what you make it.


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