I couldn’t adult on the adultingest day even if I had an electrified adulting machine.
When will I grow up? I still feel like my life is just starting. I’m 44 years old and I’ve been waiting for that switch that turns on and I can call myself an adult. When I was a child I couldn’t wait to become an adult so I could enjoy the perks like staying up late, eating what I wanted to, and, of course, no more school. When I started high school I thought there would be some sort of jolt that would hit me, recalibrating my brain. It didn’t. I still felt, and acted, like a child. When I graduate and ended up in college, nada. I moved to different cities, worked random jobs, but I couldn’t find that tingling of adulthood. That’s how it happens right? Tingling? Most of my twenties were like this and when I had the opportunity to go back to school I jumped on it. I wanted a better life and I worked hard to build one. Perhaps this was an adult-like decision. I still felt like a student what with the backpack and all.
When I finished my courses and got a job it felt like any other job. I was just sitting more. I was still a young employee and felt like it. I soon got married and bought a house. We were a young couple and I was more interested in gadgets and cars than anything. Still didn’t feel like my adulting superpowers had appeared. I was old enough to vote and drink and I would be tried as an adult if I had broken the law, however. In the eyes of the law, I was an adult. I still didn’t feel or act like one.
I started a business and hired my friends. Not very adult of me and we were having too much fun for it to be considered what grown-ups did. I definitely felt the pressure and anxiety that goes along with massive debt, succeeding, failing, helping people, but through those fears and anxieties, I still felt like an awkward teenager inside. I was still searching for that moment where everything became clear and I just knew better. This is what I associated with being an adult. In my late thirties and early forties, I started to travel more and enjoyed some parties here and there. I think I needed to look closer.
Adults today are not the ones I knew as a child. I had seen them as all-powerful and wise. As I grew up I realized that they were not. They were all as immature, insecure, lost, and silly as I have become. They were also as confident, caring, strong, and fun as I too have become. I’m glad to have come to this realization as I embark to become a father.
It turns out I found the switch.
This post was previously published on Medium.
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