My Realization of the Mythical Adult

We can all remember being young, before we understood the complexities of the world, the intricacies of politics and the torment of love (because now we are all experts on that stuff right?) Back in those days we looked at those older and bigger folks, our parents, teachers and role models and imagined what it must be like to be an “adult”.

My Realization of the Mythical Adult

To know everything and be able to do anything – they had it all figured out; a job, a car, a home, a family, all of the things that we were too young to understand or have for ourselves. Then you reach a certain point… you became older and bigger and you do have those things. Then suddenly you begin to wonder if what seemed to be an inevitable landmark is really some unattainable goal you created for yourself as a child, and you ask yourself “Are adults even real?”

For me, It was always tangible, my own personal mid-way line with a ribbon that I would run across and finally be able to begin my life, and stop being considered a child. I couldn’t wait! but as I got older, my life began to build texture, and I realized that what seemed like a hard line was just a mirage, the road ahead began to break up that line dissolving the thing I’d been racing toward literally my entire life. And now here I am a 24 year old woman with a college degree, a house and a job standing right on top of where the line had always appeared and it’s gone. We work so hard to build this castle of experience and responsibility only to find out were playing the version of Jenga where you keep putting the blocks back on top of the tower and the game isn’t going to end until the whole thing comes tumbling down.

We have experiences that make us feel older, the events that fill our childhood journals and help us to understand the world around us. Turning 18, getting a diploma, experiencing death, falling in love, drugs, sex and rock and roll… These events are like a stamp on our passport, we are constantly evolving and changing our views because we have these new experiences every day. But there is no quota, or collect ‘em all competition that gets you free Tupperware at the local grocery store. The evolution is constant so how can this be an indication of being an adult?
The Mythical Adult.

On the flip side, we also sometimes consider our responsibilities to be a marker of Adulthood, We tend to categorize the mundane necessary activities of our life as “adulting” filing our taxes, jury duty, paying our mortgage. These actions are necessary for us to be considered a part of society, but if being an adult is just a matter of our responsibilities then are those who’s personal assistance do these tasks for them less of an adult? And what about the 13 year old raising her little sister because mom didn’t come home again, is she a grownup and more importantly can the mom have her adult card revoked for bad parenting?


We all know there is no certificate of adulthood. No pinning ceremony. We are all comprised of a personal cocktail of what we’ve done and what we know along an infinite spectrum. We are all wandering the same crooked path, young and old, just stumbling around bumping into things looking for food and someone to love us. The important thing is to realize that if there is not a goal line, no status to be reached; then the thing you’re really aiming for is the best version of yourself, don’t worry about becoming the perfect grownup because adults… are a myth.

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