I'm going to go a little off script here and not write explicitly about TV. I get a lot of snark and mocking from friends because I spend the majority of my free time watching and analyzing TV. It's something I genuinely love and if I could make a career out of it I would in a heartbeat. I'm supposed to be an adult and what adult spends the majority of their free time watching TV? I've been told none, but honestly what the hell actually defines being an adult? How do you know when you are one? Here's my response to the folks who want to judge me for how I choose to live me life.
When did I know I was an adult? It’s a surprisingly common question that’s always thrown me for a loop. Growing up I remember looking at my mom, grandparents, teachers, and coaches in awe. They were adults, what wasn’t there to look up to. They had all the answers to my questions, knew how to handle any situation, had jobs, got to stay up late, didn’t have anyone telling them what to do. All these things were adult things and I couldn’t wait to become one.
As I’ve grown up my definition of what an adult is has changed. I had a list in my head of what officially classified you as an adult. Puberty and all the natural wonders that come along with it seemed like the entrance to adulthood, but when it happened to me I still felt like a kid. Turning 18 makes you an adult per the law, so clearly that had to be the turning point. Well that day passed and I still felt like a kid. Graduating high school, going to college, turning 21, graduating college, getting my own phone plan, starting a career, buying a new car, getting health insurance, all these milestones in my life came and went and I still didn’t feel like an adult. What was wrong with me?
In some corner of my mind I still carried all that awe I had as a child. I was looking for the day I’d have all the answers. I guess I wanted someone to present me with some big magical book of wisdom to induct me into the official society of adulthood. Needless to say I felt a bit lost and confused when I knew I should feel like an adult but didn’t. I had reached all these milestones and accomplished all these adult things, yet here I was still feeling like a kid.
It’s a hard pill to swallow accepting that there isn’t anyone standing at a milemarker in the journey of life to give you a gift and congratulate you on making it. No one tells you you’re an adult because no matter our age we’re still our same selves. We pick up responsibilities, start families, buy cars, have careers, but there’s not a magical switch inside us that changes us from kid to adult. We slowly grow and develop, thinking we’re figuring it out only to look back and laugh at how clueless we were. A cycle that will repeat itself ad nauseum for the rest of our lives. We don’t have all the answers and most of the time we’re feeling our way around in the dark trying desperately trying to avoid bonking our heads on lifes obstacles. There’s no manual for how you’re supposed to maneuver through life, so we do the best we can.
As long as we’re out here living our lives, who cares if we’re “adults”? Adult is just another label that put us in a box of us versus them. We close ourselves off to experiences because we deem them childish or immature. Ultimately does any of that matter as long as we’re out here trying to live our best life and be our best self?
When did I know I was an adult? I don’t.