I work full time as a reporter, I just bought my first car, and I live with my parents. Am I an adult?
Adjective: having obtained full size and strength; grown up; mature
Verb: to appear like one knows what's going in at all times and complains about the young-ins
I see your tricks, older generation. I’m slowly learning how you all seem to know what you’re doing all the time, have everything organized and perfectly oiled. Adults always seemed to know everything when I was growing up, and they sometimes still do, but they make the same mistakes as people my age.
Here are my ideas of what it means to be an adult, or what I call 'adulting.'
I've always wondered about what makes an adult an adult. Growing up, the only things I was sure of was adults knew what was going on all the time, had answers, and complained about the younger generation. That third one is flimsy and doesn't apply to all adults, but it was something I noticed when I was younger.
Recently, I purchased my first car, an ice-blue, 2011 Chevy Cruze I named "Sandy."
Pretty, ain't she? The best part is I'm paying for everything: the car, insurance, title, mud flaps, gas, hip-swinging Hawaiian girl on the dashboard (just kidding, it's a hip-swinging Spock in a grass skirt).
I felt like the most adult of adults when I gave that down payment and signed all those papers.
I was fortunate enough, and well connected enough, to find a job in my field right after college. After graduation, I took a week off and then started working full-time at Tri-County Times as a reporter. I was very adult then.
Although, I still live with my parents. Opening the door to my home and yelling "I'm home" to my parents doesn't make me feel like an adult. Keeping my things in the room I grew up in doesn't make me feel like an adult.
I feel like a contradiction, like a spot on a child-to-adult spectrum that's bouncing back and forth, not knowing if I should want to pay my own bills or take advantage of my parent's HBO account.
Here are my ideas of how to adult.
Adulting; by Hanahruby
1. Obviously, adulting means paying taxes. The government never lets us forget it from the first ice cream we bought, which wasn't, in fact, $2.00. It was $2.14. Do you remember, as a kid, finding out things actually cost more than what they say they cost? Does anyone else think this is silly and that taxes should be included in the price of everything? America is one weird place.
Understanding and paying taxes means you're an adult in the government's eyes. But wait, I paid taxes at age 17 and had my first job, before I could vote and legally drink. I definitely wasn't an adult then. So it’s not paying taxes.
2. It must be measured by maturity. Nope, cross that one off. I've heard so many stories about older people frequently complaining about trivial drama on Facebook. I’m 21 (22 on July 21) and don’t do that. I think it's embarrassing. Adulting isn’t measured by maturity.
Sometimes I think Facebook should have a maturity filter, so I don't have to see another passive aggressive post about not being there for you (this just in: no one cares and Facebook is not the place to air your dirty laundry and bad grammar).
3. Is it when you have kids? In that case, I won’t be mature for at least 8 to 10 years. If that was the case, then the girl who’s two years my junior and had a baby two years ago is mature. But she still lives with her parents, collects welfare, and posts about doing drugs every weekend. Clearly it’s not the baby factor.
4. Do you become an adult when you manage your own money? This is probably my favorite definition and stipulation. I didn’t know what a RothIRA was until I started working at Tri-County Times, but I'm opening one soon. I blame the public education system for my ignorance. Being able to pay my own bills sounds fantastically independent. Making actual money makes me feel free.
I'm sure many people have opinions on what dictates adulthood, but since this is my blog, and these are my words, here's the image I have of Adult Hannah.
Same height (I'm done hoping I'll grow another two inches)
At least half a book written
Independent with money
Able to handle emotional situations
Fluent in at least one language like French or Dothraki
Also, I’d like to finally get over my stutter. I have a problem with R words, sometimes B words, ones that start with M, maybe some with C in the beginning, and basically any letter that starts a word. I often loathe speaking, because I know I'll stutter, but I talk to sources every day and none seem to mind my awkwardness. Even though I doubt anyone cares about my speech impediment, I hate ‘remember’ with a passion I can barely enunciate.
Still, and this has held true since the first day I started journalism, I’m tickled pink when someone takes some time out of their day to speak to me, whether it’s for a story or for fun. I’ve never believed anyone owes anyone else their precious time, especially strangers, so I’m always extremely grateful when sources get back to me. It’s free press, sure, but still. I enjoy it.
I've also thought a little about managing my language. Swearing is fun and always had been for me. It's also a stress reliever. Science has proved people who swear more, stress less because they release their anger. However, almost all the adults I've ever worked with have sworn in front of me at least once. It makes me joyous.
One big, major, humongous, immense, enormous, colossal aspect I would like to see change in my adult life is people thinking I'm still in high school.
When I say ‘Hi, I’m Hannah and I work for Tri-County Times’ people usually ask ‘Do you do delivery? Are you an intern?’ No and no. I know I look young, but please stop telling me I’ll like it when I’m older. If I had a dime for every time someone told me that, I could pay off half my student debt. If I had a dime for every time I used that line, I could pay off my entire student debt and I would really need to get a new line.
Appreciation is one attribute I hope to always posses. It's one trait I think a lot of people lack, but that's not true for any whole generation. The generations love to complain about each other, but most make generalized statements that are true for a certain amount of people. Not all people in my generation are lazy, and not all people over 50 years old are hard-working Americans.
I recently posted this Facebook status.
"It's so rude when some adults are call all millennials 'lazy' when I'm working full-time, working on three other projects including writing a book, a TV show, and learning how to edit videos, updating my blog, I'm reading about six books at once, and constantly explaining to people over social media how that person who "died" in Game of Thrones in the season finale won't stay dead.
Some people are lazy, but I am not one of them. Attribute your incorrect adjectives to someone else, please."
It's gotten 68 'likes' and over 10 comments. I know I generalized and made a blanket statements about the older generations, that was part of the joke. Most adults I know don't complain about my generation. It's satisfying to tell the world all my ongoing projects, and it's really satisfying to get many 'likes' and comments. A large part of my generation, especially the ones who are vocal, feed into the sickening world of social media and getting attention from people we've never met to validate our existence and make us feel better about ourselves. I'm one of those people. It's also the best tool for networking nationwide, and getting to talk to successful people. Plus, selfies are fun and good for finding out if you have food in your teeth.
To all you adults out there who wonder why the younger generations especially love social media, it's because a lot of celebrities post on social media and a lot of non-celebrities can become celebrities on social media. Famous YouTube stars like Jenna Marbles and Tyler Oakley make thousands and thousands of dollars just for making funny videos. That lifestyle is incredibly appealing.
Maybe adulting is just gathering all this information, some useful and some not, and learning where and when to implement that knowledge. Maybe it's when you stop relying on your parents. Maybe it's when you stop being afraid of the world. Maybe it's when we can take our passion and mold it into something useful. Maybe it's when you stop making bad puns and laughing at fart jokes (I sincerely hope not, that would make for a sad existence).
Nonetheless, I hope I become an adult far down the road, when I'm well into my 30s and fluent in Dothraki so I can swear at the younger generations without them knowing.
What do you think adulting entails? Let me know!