Yet another quarter-life crisis question up for debate and discussion:
What's your definition of being an adult? What does being an adult mean to you?
Mom: "Being mature, making wise decisions where you think about consequences, no longer depending on someone else to worry about and take care of you, taking full responsibility for your own decisions and actions, and having a clear plan for your future life and goals." She says I'm not an adult yet because I don't always consider my consequences when I make decisions based on my current emotional state. I also unknowingly put pressure on others.
Dad: "Responsibility and balance. Being well-rounded in all aspects of life: career, physical and mental health, learning, relationships, finance, etc."
Friend 1: "To be an adult, to me, really means being someone who knows themselves. Someone who doesn't lie to them self about who they are, what they want to do, and to the people around them--even when that's the easy thing to do. I would think it just comes when you have a majority of life figured out and let as little outside influence bother you as possible. Like if you make a huge decision and it's at least 80-90% your own decision without the influence of others telling you what to do/think."
Friend 2: "Have a plan for future or at least working towards it, take care of your own house, pay your own bills, be responsible, take care of your yard or pay someone to. Have long and short term goals in life (or at least have options, I wanna be A, if it can’t happen, I’ll do B, worst case, probably C, and finally, having distance from your family. Your own kitchen and bathroom are important and necessary."
Friend 3: "I guess to have control over your own life. Know what your values and morals are and to make decisions taking into consideration all these things and consciousness of those around you. Taking responsibility and owning up to your faults, not always blaming others and making excuses. Prioritize and being able to distinctly determine what is actually important. The way someone reacts and handle things responsibly and thoughtfully is an important aspect of being adult-like."
Friend 4: "An adult is someone who has the ability to take care of oneself physically, mentally, financially and does it."
As I've been navigating the waters of adulthood this past year, life's been raining thunderstorms at me. Just when I think I'm starting to get the hang of what I'm doing, another tsunami-sized wave comes at me at full force. I always think "maturity" is finally figuring out every aspect of your life, but then again, adults, like me, have to take on even more responsibility and handle greater setbacks. It's the learning to catch these curveballs and throwing them back at life that makes you grow to handle adversity and build resilience.
It's hard being in your 20s. You have the energy to do things, explore the world, live out your dreams, but you lack the resources. You look so far ahead in your future, dreaming of the day you'll be "successful" and finally have it all figured out, that you'll miss the present. You'll miss the youth, the innocence, the naive young adult who is so blissfully ignorant about all her future hardships.
But I'm glad I'm finally doing this adulthood thing. Living on my own, taking care of myself, finding companionship in coworkers and friends. This is the most important time in my life for me to mature and grow into myself. Even though I waste money paying rent I'm utilizing this freedom to become my own person, and this poorer standard of living to motivate myself into working harder for a life I can be proud to call my own. And I'll fail. But I'll learn. And improve.