I usually look around for an adult when my son is misbehaving. It’s like I’m the babysitter waiting for the sage adult to come home and properly parent. Then, I would go home and be properly parented by my adults.
I thought having a child would be my prerequisite for feeling like an adult. “When I have a child, I will feel like an adult.” But I didn’t — and I don’t.
Where’s the omnipresent wisdom, pantsuits, financial security, maturity, self-confidence, autonomy, clear decision-making, practicality, and belief that I know what the heck I’m talking about, and cocktail parties? Where have all the cocktail parties gone?
I’m living the motto of “fake it ’til you make it” — I’m good at simulating those adult characteristics (I rock a stellar pretend pantsuit), but when will I officially become an adult? Is there a course I need to take?
They need to bring Home Economics 101 back to all high schools and make both genders participate. I blame not taking Home Ec. on not feeling like an adult.
I also blame being raised by a group of adults so rad that they made the whole adult thing look easy.
They also sheltered me from the full impact of many of life’s left hooks. See, if I were truly a grown-up, I wouldn’t blame other people for not feeling like an adult. And I wouldn’t write the word “rad.”
My parents always seemed so purely adult-like when I was little.
They had gigantic car phones, talking in hushed voices, had dinner parties, went to meetings, gave “knowing” looks, pretended like they always had the “right” advice, and were good at telling me what to do. Oh, and obviously, they knew everything.
The “know everything” charade is starting to fade with my parents; I’m at the age where I realize they do not, in fact, know everything.
It makes me like them more, but it also makes me fear life more.
What do I do now that I know my parents don’t know everything? Where can I find someone who does?
I’m scared I don’t feel like an adult after coupling up, pinning down a career, and having a baby.
I’m scared unexpected tragedies will cripple me. The “adults” in my life always handled that department.
I’m scared a real grown-up will pop their head into my life and tell me I’m not a proper mother.
I’m scared the world might crush me if I don’t figure out how to “adult.”
But I’m also a little relieved I don’t feel like an adult. Being an adult always seemed a bit boring to me. (Maybe that’s the real reason my mind has resisted full-on adulthood.)
I was pleasantly surprised that the adult act of becoming a wife wasn’t boring. Probably because my husband and I don’t really act like adults; we prank each other like prepubescent boys, divulge embarrassing insecurities like preteen girls, text like horny teenagers, and sing each other our toddler’s favorite songs like Barney characters.
We’re into a few of the benefits of a “grown-up relationship” — like honesty, fidelity, having jobs, paying for shelter, grocery shopping, and sex — but beyond that, I often feel like we’re two kids living in adult bodies.
Maybe no one ever feels like an adult.
Maybe that’s a secret blessing: that we can all hold onto a piece of that childlike wonder, occasional cluelessness, silliness, dreaming, and deep respect for “real adults.”
I would like to be more adult-ish in the sense that I trust my instincts (and myself) more, but I’m quite content to have the sense of humor of a thirteen-year-old, the clothes of a sixteen-year-old, and the same love for Christmas as a four-year-old. (And the perky butt of an eighteen-year-old when I’m dreaming.)
Here’s to being an adult while feeling like a whimsical child still trying to figure it all out.
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