Today is my birthday. As of 8:44 a.m., I crossed the mid-twenties threshold and officially became 26. And all of this aging makes me contemplate a serious question: what is a grown up?
What is being an adult? Who’s grown up? When we’re little, we can’t wait until we’re grown ups and we can do whatever we want. And when we’re grown up, we miss the days of being young when we could do whatever we want.
As a grown-up, I feel like life has kicked me around. But then life seems to generally kick everyone around. I haven’t stayed down yet, so I must have developed some kind of resiliency. I feel like the past two years of my life have been the biggest grown-up learning curve I’ve encountered yet. So does being a grown-up mean you take life’s beatings but still get back up?
As a grown-up, I frequently feel lost. About important adult issues, like jobs, money, and relationships. I feel like being a grown up means being uncertain about everything. I feel like true certainty is so fleeting, that I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve truly known I was making the right decision for myself. There’s such a peace that comes from knowing you’re doing the right thing. But then I look at those things closer, and while the big picture is overwhelming, the details look pretty good. I’m happy with my job, I make enough money to cover all my bills and still have some left over for other things (which is more than I can say about last year), and my relationships are mostly all doing well. So is being a grown-up learning to appreciate the details without stressing over the big picture?
As a grown up, I’m worried I’m never going to find what I’m looking for. Because I don’t even know what I’m looking for. I don’t even feel like I can get close enough to be able to define what it is I’m looking for. But is being a grown-up spending my entire life searching for this answer, an answer I definitely don’t have to know at 26?
So far, it feels like being an adult, at least an adult in your 20’s, means not really having any answers.
(My blog titles are song titles. “Careless Whisper” by Wham! was the #1 song of 1985, the year of my birth. This post took a bit of a somber turn, so I’m embedding a YouTube video to cheer you up. You could also check out Cake Wrecks for a laugh or two.)