What being an adult means to me

Some may say being an adult is based on age, like when you turn 18, or 21, but what happens if you have lived a sheltered life, therefore your ‘adult’ responsibilities become later, or on the contrary when you have a difficult life it’s reversed? Some might use it in material objects, like when you begin to drive,  moved out into a flat/apartment or house or when you buy your first appliance. Others may take a biological approach and say you become an adult when you become a parent.

I had a reflection about my current situation recently, and how my feelings have been shaping my behavior and therefore my social interaction.

I describe being an adult as a feeling of power and responsibility. I moved out at the age of 17, began driving at 18 and brought a dog at 20. Despite thinking I have been an adult at 17, I realize now that I was wrong, now I feel I am. I describe it as a feeling because there are times when you live at home and you have just got back from work, you get that feeling of responsibility so you know in your best interest is to shower, do some school work and get an early night ready for work again tomorrow. You feel overwhelming, aldulty. Although moving out at 17 I did get that feeling, the feeling of looking forward to just going home to your own bed, being surrounded by my own space. I got the feeling a lot too when i began to drive, that feeling of freedom and power because i could go do my own food shopping and live my own life on my own terms. I lived with my partner and his sister for a while with a dog that we brought, i got that feeling less than before as i was often relying on my partner and his sister dominated my life.

Within the last 6 months, we moved into our own house, i take full responsibility of our dog and we added 2 fish to the family. My partner lives away. I am in charge of my university, work and social life. Recently I began working as a teaching assistant and felt overwhelming like an adult. I feel that throughout the years I got that feeling a lot, that pressure, but nowadays that feeling is becoming my life. I go to work, care for my mother, look after myself and my pets as well as go to work, study for university. Time is such a limiting factor, the amount of years I have spent just ‘pushing’ stuff aside, it really is when you have no time to mess about do you prioritize.  I could not care that my sisters are annoyed with me,  because ultimately I am not neglecting the things i love. Being an adult to me, is that feeling of power, responsibility and pressure, sometimes positive and sometimes negative. Being an adult is when you take that power, and do purposeful things with it, you prioritize, commit and learn when to say no. To some being an adult comes sooner than others.

Perhaps in the upcoming months I will look back at this and realize that maybe its not a feeling, but instead something will happen to me and then i will  then realize. Maybe i wont until i have children and then i will really know what being an adult means. But for now, i describe it as a feeling, that eventually encapsulates your ways of thinking and preparing for today, and tomorrow.

I’m interested in knowing how others define being an adult?


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