I’ve been in this interesting inquiry lately:
What does it mean to be an adult?
It was initially sparked by this new word everyone is using adulting – the verb form of adult. I thought it was just something ‘kids these days’ were saying, but nope, it’s a legit thing for people of all ages.
As I’ve explored this idea I’m increasingly surprised to discover just how many people actively resist the idea of adulting. Like being an adult is something painful, scary and worthy of celebration the rare times it’s done successfully.
The widely accepted definition of an adult has to do with age, which, to me is bonkers. You can totally be a 65 year old and not be an adult and I know plenty of 15 year olds who display adult like behaviors.
It’s also possible to be an adult in your business and a child in your romantic life or an adult in your romantic life but a child when it comes to managing your own health.
So what is an adult?
In my view an adult is someone who is self aware and takes responsibility for their own life and existence.
That last bit can be really tricky because taking responsibility for your life requires you to know where your life is going. There’s no roadmap for this, there’s no class in school or structure in American culture to really teach us how to design our lives and be responsible for them, how to “adult”. And not knowing how to do something that you feel expected to do? Well, that sucks.
I’ve been confronted with this suckiness myself, most recently in relationship to my health and realizing that I don’t actually know how to take responsibility for my health at the level that I know I am capable of and need – so I started working with an expert, a Personal Trainer, to educate me on how to do this better.
I’ve also come to realize that a lot of the work I do is to support people in transitioning into adulthood in one or all areas of their life. I support people in taking responsibility for where their life is going. As one client put it yesterday, I’m the adult whisperer – coaxing the inner adult out.
Funny thing is, once the inner adult comes out, typically the inner child feels much more self expressed!
If any of this is resonating with you, piquing your curiosity, then you want to take a Life Assessment. Get an outside perspective on your life, where you’re adulting, where you not and how that serves or hurts you.