I'm An Adult, But The Traditional Notion Of Adulting Is Making Me Sick

I'm An Adult, But The Traditional Notion Of Adulting Is Making Me Sick

Being an adult means choosing the life you want over the life you're expected to have.
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I think I'm finally an adult, and that terrifies me.

It's funny, because up until now, I've always wanted to be an adult. It's pretty much what we all strive for through our adolescent years, longing for the freedom and strength that come with being in charge of your own person. What we don't realize while yelling at our parents "I can't wait to grow up and be my own boss" is the amount of responsibility that comes along with it.

According to Urban Dictionary, adulting is the act of doing "grown up things and holding responsibilities such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment, or anything else that makes one think of grown ups." It seems that there is one correct way to be an adult, and all of us recent college graduates are expected to conform to it.

When I was younger, my view of an adult was a little different. Adults had cars. Adults had money. Adults knew right from wrong and made important decisions; they made the best decisions. Adults had jobs. Adults could wear what they like, sleep when they like, and do what they like without asking their moms. They could reach things on the high shelves in the kitchen. Adults had knowledge, and you could trust them.

As I started to grow up, my views on what an adult was changed. I learned that everyone makes mistakes, regardless of what age you are. Each adult's view on what is right and wrong varies. I learned that adults still call their moms, too, because moms are a special kind of adult that can make you feel better when nothing else can. The older I grew, the older the age of true "adulthood" became. Most importantly, I learned that there is not a guidebook that tells you how to successfully adult; that decisions are not black and white, but very multifaceted and difficult to make, and not all adults have your best interests at heart.

During my time in college, I began to think of adults differently. Adults were predictable. Their lives were efficient; their personalities practical. They sat at a desk and worked 9-5 jobs, got married and had kids. They paid mortgages and constantly complained about taxes. Adults frowned, a lot, and adults didn't have time for fun.

I'm not the 9-5 type of person. Working at a desk day in and day out makes me feel claustrophobic and staying in the same environment around the same people too long makes me feel trapped. I love to travel and my personality is spontaneous and unpredictable.

I'm about as far from the above definition of adult as can be.

I'm also 21 years old and have a college degree from a highly accredited University. Before I graduated, I received three full-time job offers; in July, I will move to Asheville to begin my first job in the "real world." I have an apartment, a car, and I pay my own phone bill. I know what I want from life, and I have a plan laid out on how to achieve it. I'm proud of the person I am today, and incredibly lucky to have people look up to me.

I'm pretty sure I'm an adult.

I'm living a life that I've chosen. No one is dictating where I go from here or how to proceed in the future. I make my choices, and I learn from each situation life places me in.

Adulting doesn't mean working a 9-5 and being serious all the time. The essence of adulting lies in embracing the freedom of making your own decisions and pursuing a path in life that allows you to achieve your goals. It is the freedom to be who you are and to love the life you live.

If that means taking a few months off and traveling the world, so be it. Start your own business, volunteer at a nonprofit, live at home with your parents, or don't. If 9-5 is what you want, then go for it. Adulting is anything and everything that you want it to mean, as long as you recognize these are your decisions. Adulting means taking responsibility for the consequences of your actions, and humbly taking pride in your achievements.

Adulting is realizing that these are all your choices to make.

Being an adult means that in this game of life, it's finally your turn to play, and from now on, it always will be.

It means you have the power to be who you want, how you want, when you want. Your life is in your control.

I guess being an adult isn't so bad after all.


Cover Image Credit: midlevelu.com

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An Open Letter to the Person Who Still Uses the "R Word"

Your negative associations are slowly poisoning the true meaning of an incredibly beautiful, exclusive word.
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What do you mean you didn't “mean it like that?" You said it.

People don't say things just for the hell of it. It has one definition. Merriam-Webster defines it as, "To be less advanced in mental, physical or social development than is usual for one's age."

So, when you were “retarded drunk" this past weekend, as you claim, were you diagnosed with a physical or mental disability?

When you called your friend “retarded," did you realize that you were actually falsely labeling them as handicapped?

Don't correct yourself with words like “stupid," “dumb," or “ignorant." when I call you out. Sharpen your vocabulary a little more and broaden your horizons, because I promise you that if people with disabilities could banish that word forever, they would.

Especially when people associate it with drunks, bad decisions, idiotic statements, their enemies and other meaningless issues. Oh trust me, they are way more than that.

I'm not quite sure if you have had your eyes opened as to what a disabled person is capable of, but let me go ahead and lay it out there for you. My best friend has Down Syndrome, and when I tell people that their initial reaction is, “Oh that is so nice of you! You are so selfless to hang out with her."

Well, thanks for the compliment, but she is a person. A living, breathing, normal girl who has feelings, friends, thousands of abilities, knowledge, and compassion out the wazoo.

She listens better than anyone I know, she gets more excited to see me than anyone I know, and she works harder at her hobbies, school, work, and sports than anyone I know. She attends a private school, is a member of the swim team, has won multiple events in the Special Olympics, is in the school choir, and could quite possibly be the most popular girl at her school!

So yes, I would love to take your compliment, but please realize that most people who are labeled as “disabled" are actually more “able" than normal people. I hang out with her because she is one of the people who has so effortlessly taught me simplicity, gratitude, strength, faith, passion, love, genuine happiness and so much more.

Speaking for the people who cannot defend themselves: choose a new word.

The trend has gone out of style, just like smoking cigarettes or not wearing your seat belt. It is poisonous, it is ignorant, and it is low class.

As I explained above, most people with disabilities are actually more capable than a normal human because of their advantageous ways of making peoples' days and unknowingly changing lives. Hang out with a handicapped person, even if it is just for a day. I can one hundred percent guarantee you will bite your tongue next time you go to use the term out of context.

Hopefully you at least think of my friend, who in my book is a hero, a champion and an overcomer. Don't use the “R Word". You are way too good for that. Stand up and correct someone today.

Cover Image Credit: Kaitlin Murray

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She's The Girl About To Speak Up, And She'll Make The World A Better Place

She is a girl with opinions that differ from the people around her, a girl with an open-mind stuck in a closed-minded society.

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She is not a feminist killjoy. She is not some radical liberal. She is a girl with opinions that differ from the people around her, a girl with an open-mind stuck in a closed-minded society.

Most importantly, she is a girl who speaks her mind.

To begin, my input on our next living location was never taken into consideration since I was only ten and my dad thought it would be a great idea to move back to Tennessee. Now, this does not sound so bad. However, I had been living in Spain for the past four years and never experienced the amount of bigotry I did once I was living in Tennessee. I ended up not being apart of the so-called "popular" crowd since I was not one of the girls who would zip her lips and look pretty to impress boys.

I never realized how cruel people could be until they turned my outspokenness into something laughable by making a joke out of everything I said. Such as a fellow peer calling me anonymously on the phone and stating, "So, I heard you like killing babies," and then proceeded to make cruel jokes about my opinion on abortion.

On that note, to the girls that speak their mind,

the best way to handle people who do not feel the need to give you common courtesy is to focus on your goals, to remember why you continue to speak your mind, and to forgive the people. Throughout life, you may experience people chasing you with Trump signs or people outcasting you because being outspoken is viewed as a weakness. However, you were made to be difficult to forget and not easy for the mind to follow so you can make a difference in life.

It is rare to be made to be difficult to forget and not easy for the mind to follow because many people are unaware of how much power they have behind the works they speak and the actions they take. Each word you speak affects someone differently and can cause a ripple effect that leads to more listeners and more people that will help make a difference.

So, girls keep speaking your mind.

People are going to tell you that you talk too much, that any claims you make are rubbish because you are a woman and women do not know what they are talking about. Do not listen to them. Do not give react to them. Instead, continue to provide them with the facts that back up your claim. You do need to provide them with common courtesy, despite the radical idea that women have no idea what they are talking about because you never know how their words will affect your thoughts.

While you should oppose the outright expression of bigotry, you also need to consider your actions. For instance, I was chased with a Trump yard sign around "Celebrate Munford" because of the mere fact that I expressed how I disliked President Trump declared approach to the border crisis, tax cuts, and women's rights. Now, instead of giving the person chasing me with the sign a big reaction like they wanted, I ignored them, and it stopped. If I had given them a big reaction, my opinions would have been invalidated and turned into something laughable. Since I did not react, I refuted his claims because his actions showed that his true intentions were to shame me, rather than wanting to make a difference.

Silence can be much more powerful depending on how you use it.

To the girls that speak their mind, I want you to remember a quote by Laurel Thatcher Ulrich:

Well-behaved women seldom make history.

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