I toyed with the idea of calling this the rather more linkbaity “How to tell if you are a grownup”, but decided that there’s no way this is likely to come very high in anyone’s search (although who knows…?) so I may as well call it whatever I like.
I am an adult. And a grownup. And a woman (not a “girl”, although I don’t object to the word in every context). And any other thing that you can think of that means “not a child”.
Here are some of the things that other people might think are required to be a grownup:
- a mortgage
- being married
- having a car
- getting up and dressed before midday even on weekends
I have exactly half of one of that list of 5. And I don’t even drive it if I can help it.
Sometimes people say “I don’t feel like a grownup even though I have…” and then go on to quote some of the items on that list.
I want to reclaim the word “grownup”. I am a grownup because I am in charge of my life. I make choices, and I take the consequences. Nobody tells me when to go to bed, or what to have for dinner, or not to have that third margarita, or whether I should buy yet another bottle of magical lasts-forever nail varnish. I make the choice myself, then I live with the consequences. If I am very tired in the morning, or get fat (or scurvy), or have a hangover, or can’t afford to go out because I spent all my money on something that still chips after 36 hours, then I know that I made the choices that led to that, and I learn whether I want to continue to make those same choices in future.
Of course I have to live within the world as it is, and so I generally make choices that ensure that I have a job and can pay bills and not go to jail, because the consequences of that would not be much fun. But I am making those choices. Nobody is making them for me.
Being a grownup is about responsibility, but responsibility is not about boringness or choosing not to have fun. It’s about you being in charge of your own life. I am in charge of my own life. I choose when to have fun, and what kind of fun to have, and how to fit that in with the other things that I want to do. If I am doing something that is less fun, it’s because I have chosen to do that because I think the consequences will be worth it. The important part is that it is my choice.
So, are you still “not a grownup”?