I think the only person who can answer the question of what it means to be an adult is you. There’s no right of passage; no balloons or celebrations when it happens. Nobody pats you on the back and says “Good job!”. There aren’t any trumpets announcing your Adulthood.
Something just clicks. I’m gonna tell you this: Being an adult is NOT what its cracked up to be!
I’ve been “adulting” since ??? Longer than I can remember. I’m 53 now. Growing up-we were “latchkey” kids before it became a ‘thing’. My mom worked during the early 1970's-my dad had been self-employed and his business went under , so Mom had to take a job outside of our home. Even before that, I always had a younger sibling (or 3) trailing behind me (I’m 2nd of 5). I have an older sister, but she had no interest in the rest of us and still doesn’t. She moved to another state as soon as she could after high school.
My younger siblings-all of us in our late 40's/early 50’s -still come to me to help sort out problems. I was like a 3rd parent in our home.
Today, I have 3 bio kids and 1 step son. Their ages are 32, 30, 28 & 23. I was a single mom for a long time before I met my current husband. My 3 kids & I did a lot of flying by the seats of our pants at times. I never expected them to become “jr adults” but I did put a lot of responsibility on my eldest son. Not as much as I had; but more maybe more than his peers.
My parents didn’t have the answers. I don’t either. Even as an “adult”, there’s a lot of things I’m still learning. I believe that maybe being an Adult is a state of mind? Its fleeting at times and other times, solid as a rock.
If someone can recognize they’re in a toxic relationship and moves on-that’s ADULTING. If you decide that a job/career isn’t for you any more and decide to change-that’s ADULTING. If you f*ck up your life and have to start all over: That’s ADULTING. Taking responsibility for your actions: That’s ADULTING.
Life has no rules. There are no clear cut rules to Adulting. Live your life. Make peace with your past. Forgive you mother. Be your authentic self-not a cookie cutter of who or what you THINK adults should look like. There’s a big world out there to explore and enjoy it while you can. Don’t be a slave to society’s expectations. You’ll find the balance you need. Trust yourself and your instincts. I do believe in Therapy-BUT-therapists don’t have the answers either. Sometimes, there are no answers. You just roll with whatever Life gives you; dust yourself off; and keep moving forward.
I hope you find peace. Aloha ❤