Where have all the Adults gone?

I had a very clear vision of adults when I was young. By mid-teens I understood that under P111020824’s weren’t really adults, but close. But here I am, 26 and I do not feel like an adult.

I have lived away from my family for 10 years, lived in different countries, different houses, worked a myriad of jobs, yet I do not feel like an adult.

I have debt, I’ve had a mortgage and paid it off, I’ve lived through big health problems and not returned to my family for support, yet I do not feel like an adult.

There is that meme going around which says “that horrifying moment when you’re that-horrifying-moment-when-youre-looking-for-an-adult-then-realize-youre-an-adult-so-you-look-for-an-older-adult-someone-successfully-adultingan-adultier-adult-f594elooking for an adult and realise you are the adult.”Clearly a lot of people identify with this feeling for it to become a meme. But why?

When I looked at adults as a teen I knew they were adults because….I guess partly authority. Any adult could try to tell you what to do, even if it wasn’t anything to do with them, they had authority and a responsibility to step in. Parents, teachers, friends parents, grandparents, they made up a big part of our worlds growing up, they were definitely adults. They set the rules we had to live by.

….they had their own houses, paid bills, worried about things teenagers couldn’t quite understand…like insurance.

….they drove cars

….they had a job that wasn’t working Saturdays at a hairdressers

….apart from a few teachers most adults I knew were also parents.

But what does an adult look like now?

Adults-MemeTeenagers for the most part scare me. At the very least I tend to avoid them. I don’t feel like my ages gives me any authority in the slightest.

I’m caught between wanting to forge my own path and looking for guidance. For years I’ve been happy travelling the road less travelled. I’ve gone where life has taken me, the good and the bad. But I guess self doubt is pressuring me to check my progress. Which is when the need for an Adult arises.

Perhaps I need to just suck it up, take a look at my life and say,

“Right, well, I guess this is what an Adult looks like now.”

I get to go to bed what ever time I want…I just also have to deal with those consequences the next morning.

I can eat whatever I want…again my waist line will pay for that.

I can technically spend the whole day in the Cinema…until I have to deal with not doing any work that day.

I can buy as many books and pretty things as I want…if I’m prepared for the credit card bill next month.

As a kid these were things that I wanted to be able to do when I grew up.

I guess growing up is learning that you can do whatever you want, but there is always a price.

 

-Auburn xx

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4 comments

  1. Does it help to know that nothing is any clearer when you’re 43? I’m still waiting to meet my inner adult. I have learned, however, to stress about it less – I think we were moulded by society to conform to ‘the norm’ according to society’s needs – particularly in the last century where young people were forced to grow up and ‘do their bit’, whether that be to provide progeny or die for one’s country. I think it is very telling that my parents were the first generation without a major war (involving the UK at least, rather different in the US) and the first to experience the freedoms we take for granted like contraception and cohabitation and the legalisation of homosexuality. I think parenting itself probably changed very much with the increase both in nuclear families and leisure time, and this wonderful feeling (albeit a sometimes disturbing one) of not being a ‘proper’ adult is borne of its time. Whilst society doesn’t need us to ‘grow up and step up to the plate’ let’s embrace not-adulting, safe in the knowledge that we can adult very well when needs must, thank you very much!

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s really good advice! I think I will try and just be happy with non-adulting. I think it just stems from self-doubt. I’ve always been happy forging my own path but every so often the need for an adult, or a mentor I guess, pops up and leaves me wondering.

      We live in interesting times 🙂 x

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  2. Interesting post! I wonder what the difference is between adults and mentors? We need mentors at all stages of life. As you get older they become harder to find though. And you can have very mature young people and infantile older folk! I don’t think our society values (or teach us) how to grow up very well – perhaps that comes from our individualism? In older societies there were rites for crossing into different stages of life – social rituals that helped that transition. And there were support structures in the community. In losing those things perhaps we lose our ability to mark that path through life and so struggle to see where we are on it?

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    • I totally agree. I think a mentor is definitely someone I’ve been in need of at many stages along the way. I definitely think our quest for unique individual experiences has distanced us from following in others footsteps. Smaller families has probably also helped this process become more challenging.

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