What is “Adulting,” Anyway?

To the person who tells me that I’m not a real adult until I have kids. To the person who tells me I’m not a real adult until I have a house. To the person who tells me I’m not a real adult until I’ve been at my job longer.

All of those individuals who have made comments, whether quietly or overtly, this message is for you:

I am an adult. I am adulting. I’m doing this.

Or at least I’m trying to.

And when people put me down, even jokingly, I am gutted over it. By no means do I have it all figured out. I have no cognizance of what having children is like, nor would I ever suggest how to raise them until I have. I also have not bought a house yet. It’s something I’m waiting to do until I feel more settled, and trust me- I do NOT feel settled! But I also don’t want to, yet. I don’t want to have the bragging rights that come with owning a home if I have to sacrifice the freedom I currently have to travel for an entire summer without looking back, and if that means I’m not an adult I will happily accept that title.

So what is adulting, anyway?

I don’t have a house or kids, but I do have two college degrees that I obtained in three years and am almost halfway through graduate school. I have a passport full of stamps. I have a job that I wake up excited each morning to go to and refine my practice. I have wisdom beyond my twenty-two years of life because I have been exposed to more cultures and experiences than some people are in their entire lifetimes. At the end of the day, am I less of an adult because I have chosen these paths over the traditional “settle down” model that others have selected for themselves?

In the educational realm, we argue that no two students are the same, so why is adulthood any different? Am I not a “real adult” if I haven’t chosen to exchange my freedom for a mortgage? I argue that, despite these alleged “shortcomings” of mine for not taking the traditional route, I am in fact an adult… and a good one, at that. At the end of the day, I’m an honest person. I work hard every single day at work, and I do the best I can to pour into the people around me. I love life so much that I find myself grinning for the majority of the day because I love existing on this planet.

So tell me, adults, what is adulting, anyway? Does anyone have it figured out, or are we all just pursuing our passions in the best way we know how?

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