The Mystical (Mythical?) World of Adulthood

I’ve been having issues with adulthood ever since I entered it.

The thing is, I like being an adult. I just feel like I’m doing it wrong.

A lot of this comes from being single and childless, which, people assure me, as I listen in horror, will come to an end at some point. I’m doing okay with my singleness at the moment—ask me again next week—and I am more than okay with being childless.

It’s hard to feel like an adult when the majority of my friends and acquaintances seem to be planning weddings, planning kids, planning future residences that suit both parts of the couple, getting ultrasounds, worrying about school districts, buying houses, taking temperatures, and wiping runny noses, and I’m … not.

And if they’re not planning weddings or taking care of kids, a lot of my friends/acquaintances are in graduate school—a decision I do not want for myself, though I support them in their efforts.

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Also, I still play with toys…

So they’re also planning academic/vocational futures, organizing class schedules, and studying, while I’m chilling with my bachelor’s degree and have no intention of advancing that.

And what am I doing? Well, as you know, I like to go out of town a lot to visit people. But on a more *ahem* low-key day, aside from working from home, often I’m hanging out in my apartment, reading Dracula and eating curry I don’t have to share with anyone and drinking wine that I also don’t have to share with anyone and watching MST3K or Avengers and trawling Tumblr and writing fanfiction/blog posts/the sequel to my novel and planning vacations and Gchatting with friends as we squee over how cute this or that celebrity is. The only life I’m responsible for, aside from my own, is the philodendron that I got for Christmas. (I named him Coulson.) The most agonizing thing I’m waiting for is season 3 of Sherlock.

I love it all. My problem is that none of that sounds like something an adult should do.

I started thinking about this even more this week, as I was watching season 3 of the BBC sitcom “Miranda” online. I talked about this show when I learned about it a year and a half ago, I think. It’s a hilarious and exaggerated account of real-life-type awkwardness, and follows the protagonist, Miranda’s, failures to grow up and live like a “normal” thirtysomething woman. I swear, some of this stuff is like I’m watching myself 5-10 years in the future.

But as hard as I tend to be on myself, I have to concede that I’m more competent at life things than poor Miranda. At least in some areas. So when I start feeling down on myself for being immature or not a “real” adult or functional human being, there are some things I can keep in mind.

I may be totally am silly and immature and ridiculous in many ways. BUT, I am gainfully (self)employed, I pay bills and taxes, I’m debt-free, I can feed/dress myself reasonably well, occasionally run the vacuum cleaner and disinfect the toilet, attend church, periodically go out with friends, plan my own vacations, keep up with maintenance on my car, and try to work on a sequel to my novel because oh yeah, I already wrote one! Also, for any unmarried British fellows who may be reading this, I make a bitchin’ batch of Yorkshire puddings.

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Like mum used to make?

And if that’s the case, does it really matter if I do most of that work in my pajamas while listening to bad pop music and swooning over celebrities (occasionally planning a meet-cute and subsequent marriage to one or three of them) and leaving my bed unmade and eating my lunch out of the pan I cooked it in because I couldn’t be bothered to get out a plate?

Apparently, dignity is overrated.

(HAHAHAHA … as if I’ve ever been dignified…)

What about you? If you’re technically of legal age, do you feel like an adult? Why or why not?

3 thoughts on “The Mystical (Mythical?) World of Adulthood

  1. This post is awesome! I loved reading it so much. You write so well. And I’m glad you’re bragging about Yorkshire puddings — please can I have one sometime? In answer to your question, after dinner I kind of chugged my glass of wine so I could have a popsicle as soon as possible. So that was awesomely grown-up. That aside, getting married this summer did make me feel somewhat more adult — I think mostly because that is so ingrained into our heads as a rite of passage, which is kind of annoying — , but what has really helped is getting finances and my ability to actually do my work in a self-motivated way. So I feel somewhat more adult, but still in a lot of ways like a kid, fumbling around, not having things that “real adults” (who in my mind all have proper curtains and decorating schemes or something) have. It’s interesting that you should write this, because a couple of days ago I decided that I needed to start thinking of and referring to myself as an adult.

    • “I kind of chugged my glass of wine so I could have a popsicle as soon as possible. So that was awesomely grown-up.”

      I snorted at that. It’s a fabulous mental image.

      Honestly, I think “proper” interior decoration really would make me feel more like an adult. I just can’t care enough to do something about it. Maybe I should at least start saving up for a nice couch. (Lord knows I already have three throw pillows, and that’s more than I know what to do with.) Also, I do feel like I will be a “real” adult if I get married, but then, knowing me, I’ll reach that point and start freaking out and going, “Oh s**t, I STILL don’t know what I’m doing!!!”

      Also, I made Yorkshire puddings tonight (not the ones in the photo), and I have at least a half-dozen left. Maybe I’ll have Loki and Thor leave some for you.

      I was going to say that, to encourage you to refer to yourself as an adult, I would start calling you my “adult friend,” but then I realized that’s slightly inappropriate in the wrong context.

  2. Pingback: Left-Behind Adulthood | Em Speaks

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