Do you ever feel like you’ve been fooling everyone around you into thinking that you’re actually a grown up?
Sure, you’ve got a car payment and a general practitioner; you go to the dentist every six months like you’re supposed to…you’re even paying off those student loans all by yourself. You have a job, friends, and most of the time you get a good night’s sleep.
But we stumble. There are hiccups. Sometimes being grown-up life feels downright juvenile. We have the same types of drama that we had in high school. There are always going to be the jocks and the nerds. People still talk behind each other’s backs. No one is perfect, so that certainly can’t be an indicator.
So what exactly makes us grown up? Is it hitting the ripe old age of 18? Is it learning how to control our emotions and considering other people’s feelings? Is it taking calculated risks?
When I asked “What is a grown-up” on Facebook, I got these answers:
Providing for yourself.
Taking responsibility for your actions & your future!!
I hope to never find out.
Being a grown up can be defined as this…when Christmas and Birthdays roll around you start to think about what you need rather than what you “want”. And you’re happy when you get new dress socks, shoes, clothes, tables, chairs, etc. because it’s one less thing you have to buy. Yep, the day you’re happy to get the socks you asked for for your birthday is the day you’re a grownup because no kid in their right mind would be happy with socks. or underwear. lol.
When you figure out that you don’t know everything. When you learn to humble yourself for the right reasons. When you take responsibility for your actions.
Buying a vacuum cleaner.
Being proud of accomplishments and recognizing failures.
Taking yourself -too- seriously. Only a grown-ups refuse to change their own opinion of the correctness of their views and opinions… Ask them…
Being young at heart, feeling peace in beautiful moments, looking at the world with wonder and know if you keep a steady course when shooting for the stars you will get there eventually.
Maybe we’re not grown up until we have a crisis of faith. Have you ever questioned (or even cared about) your place on this earth? Do you feel you are on a particular journey?
We are all on such divergent tracks. Who’s to say that a 40-year old living with his parents is any less of an adult than a 17-year old single mother who has been living on her own for years? It’s such a subjective topic that I am having trouble focusing on the true meaning of being a grown up. How do we decide? Who decides? There’s no algorithm, no pattern. If one person says it’s about leaving the nest, I could argue that leaving before marriage is almost exclusively an American cultural thing. In many other countries, the child doesn’t leave until they are ready to marry.
I find it fascinating how different the lives of people in a particular age bracket—say, 30 to 40 years old, since that is the age of the majority of my friends—can be. I’ve got friends with children, friends in college, friends with drama, friends working jobs they hate for less than they are worth, friends who are in the prime of their careers, and friends who are just trying to figure something, one thing, out. Maybe I’ve got a happy-new-year-what-are-you-going-to-change-about-your-life hangover. Maybe I’m in a crisis of faith, and big changes are coming. Maybe I need to stop and breathe.
So, I breathe. I focus my thoughts and ask the universe to tell me something. I pull a Zen card out of the pile. It says Zen Mind. Here is what it reads:
Experience all things with the enthusiasm of a child, as if you were seeing it for the first time. This is the Zen Mind. Always new, always aware, always that of a beginner.
Of course. The answer turns my question upside down. Thank you, Universe!