Welcome to adulting! Look down our timelines and we will see everyone being such a happy, successful, and mature human being. We may think to ourselves, how is everyone such an upstanding perfect citizen? We have people throwing elaborate Pinterest worthy birthday parties for their one-year-olds. A cute fondant cake up to the ceiling. Couples getting married, engaged, and honeymooning. Newlyweds writing 1,000-word essay love note posts to the love of their lives on Facebook. Others purchasing property, starting businesses, and gaining fame. Ex-boyfriends traveling to Spain and Australia. Our high school classmates getting 2,000 likes on their pictures and our high school teachers speaking at a Ted Talk. With all these amazing contributors to society, we may think “What the heck am I doing with my life?” This is adulting! When everyone looks like they know what they are doing except for you! By the way, no one warned us what to expect!
Despite popular belief, adulting does not happen the day we hit 18. It is the day that we consciously tell ourselves “OMG! I AM AN ADULT NOW!” It is a conscious reaction in our mind that tells us that we are solely responsible for our very existence. A glorious epiphany when our brains wake up one day and say,“Oh no!” This hits some of us as early as 17. Other late bloomers, it hits us at 30! Either way, if we are lucky to live long enough, it will hit us. It’s the point of no return. Society will say, “Either shape up, get a job, or ELSE!”
Usually, the consciousness of adulting is easily quantifiable. In reality, we can count how expensive it is to be an adult. People who start counting how much it costs to literally exist are hit with the adulting idea when a bill comes. They get the $100 for air conditioning bill, look around, and realize there is no one else to pay it! They will try to call their parents for the money and their parent’s laugh that they have left the nest! Worst of all, they look to question who rose the bill so high, but they can only blame themselves! They look at their puppy and think, “I can’t blame this on the dog! He can’t even reach the thermostat!”
Sadly, our humble paychecks immediately go to the electric bill. The words “Department of Water and Power” get etched into our brains. It’s no longer this boring place our parents make us wait in line! It’s a place we must wait in line AND pay money! We realize it is solely up to us to get these bills lower too. We turn the air and heat off when we are sleeping. It is our first solution to grab a sweater when it is cold.
Hopefully, when the electricity bill comes, it will be cut in half. A joy will sparkle in our eyes when we conquered our electric bill. We are happy that we did a good thing. Then, it hits us again, we are happy that we did a purely ADULT thing. We lowered the electricity bill, LIKE OUR PARENTS?! My dad would say, “Stop leaving the door open! I am not air conditioning the whole neighborhood!” This phrase resonates with us now and we get it. As many times as I rolled my eyes to the phrase, being an adult, it now makes so much sense. We are adulting!
Why does it hurt and feel good at the same time! We love to save on bills but we hate that we love being adults. Adulting at its finest is when we are responsible adults but actually, kind of, enjoy it. We buy furniture at Ikea and complain about how expensive it is. At the same time, we feel like proud adults when we put it together. Following those directions, or heck, throwing them away. By the time we screw in that last screw, we are feeling like we are winning at this adult stuff. Having the money for the bills feels good. We complain that we have to eat healthily but when we eat our vegetables, it leaves us with a warm feeling.
Adulting isn’t just complaining. It is also starting to like these little things that we didn’t understand as kids. Opting for PJs instead of stilettos on a night out. Exercising in place of eating two or three combos of junk food at McDonald’s. Getting our bright, colorful, glossy, tags in the mail for the new car registration makes us happy! One night stands, junk food, staying out late, binge drinking, and being packed into parties like a sardine, just does not sound as fun anymore. Now, we rather even stay in the comfort of our blankets and watch Netflix. The flashing of the television screen warming our hearts is much more satisfying than then the blaring music, seizure-inducing flashing lights, and being bumped into by dozens of strangers. When we start telling our coworkers with a huge grin that it is Friday and we have absolutely no plans is pure adulting. Give me some tea on a cold day. That is my ideal afternoon! If the tea sounds better than the party, you may have hit adulthood!
Who has the energy for all that partying anymore anyway? Getting the privilege of going to bed early is priceless. Sleeping in. Omg, it’s so satisfying! Our beds are our best friend. As kids, we fought our parents to stay up but as adults, we fight out kids so we can go to sleep! Tiredness overtakes us. When we drink too much we are tired. Staying up too late and we are sleepy. If you’re asking, “What is this feeling to be tired all the time?” That’s adulthood, my dear.
Another major sign of adulthood is that we start to questions school and it’s value. Specifically elementary and high school comes to mind. Honestly, how much of this adulting stuff was taught to us? Right now, I can count only a few things on my finger. Home Economics, which was an elective, taught me about applying for an apartment. However, it mostly taught me some recipes. I can make an amazing apple pie. Does my apple pie recipe pay bills, invest in stocks, start a retirement plan, parent children, or tell me how to deal with aging parents? No, no, no, no, and let me think, NO! Still, why did no one tell us the valuable information that we can use as adults like how to change my oil or how to deal with rude neighbors?
For example, math never taught us that each item in a home has an extremely expensive value. One couch will set us back $900. In school, they ask us in math that if Jimmy has two apples for $0.10 then how much did he spend? Jimmy spent $0.20 cents on his apples. This is not helpful today! Why didn’t they just ask us, if Tammy wants to furnish her apartment from scratch how much will that cost? The school could have taught us that it will cost a ZILLION dollars.
At least, being an adult wouldn’t have stung so bad! The book should have read, “Tammy’s parents no longer want to support her and Tammy makes $12/hour at RiteAid. Tammy moved into an apartment that required first month’s rent, last month’s rent, and a large security deposit. The large security deposit was because Tammy did not build any credit while living with parents. Tammy has a mattress but must choose between a used $200 couch from OfferUP or a $50 bed frame.” That way it can show a picture of Tammy buying a couch and putting her mattress on the floor. This useful information would have been priceless to us who are adulting today. It would even give us a little warning about building credit! Sadly, the education system feels it is more important for us to use our brains to memorize multiplication in our heads instead of a ficken calculator and instead of teaching us how to adult!
Once we start adulting, it also leads us to think about our childhoods. How did our parents have beds for us and our siblings!? At $1,000 a month or more on groceries for a family of 5, how did they do that!? We begin to appreciate our parents a bit more. We see just how hard they worked for what we have. Also, knowing that we are going to have to do it all ourselves makes us think. Somehow, with the children we have, we are going to have to make it. Their little eyes will stare up at us and want so many nuances like shelter, food, and water. We must provide. Although we were not prepared for all of this adulting, we will figure it out as we go.
It’s not just our parents, we start to look at television families as well. Hulu just released Family Matters. Let’s see, three kids, the aunt, the parents, and the grandma in one house?? How? How did a police officer’s salary pay for that!? Take any show and look at the house. There is no way they can afford that!
Adulting starts us on the path to seeing the lies. We cannot believe television had the audacity to lie to us! How dare a show about a nerd going into a scientific box and magically transforming into the cool, Stefan, not be perfectly accurate about the size of house we would be able to afford! My dreams are crushed because I want a five bedroom home, with a picket fence, and a swing on the porch. They did not fully represent real families with five children who are living in a two or three bedroom apartment! Yes, I had an okay childhood but no one was warning me about adulthood! School, family, our trusted television! They all betrayed us!
That means up to us to stick together. Millennial Adulting blog is so that we can say: Adulting sucks but also, we are proud that we can do adult things and enjoy them. We were lied to by society but we can still make it every day! The rat race, the daily grind, working hard, and playing harder. It’s up to us because since we are no longer kids, we are the workforce. We are the generation supporting our kids and our retired parents.
It feels as though our generation has been getting a bad rap in the news. Apparently, we are killing off industries. Look at the headlines these days, “Millennials are killing Restaurants”, “Killing diamonds”, and “Killing traveling.”
They, also think we are lazy and entitled. Lazy! By no means are we lazy! We are looking for work that pays as much as our parents did when they were our age. Apparently, our parents made more money than us because they were able to buy property and raise us! We are looking but those jobs don’t seem to exist as much today as before.
Entitled! Absolutely not! We just don’t want the crippling debt of college weighing us down so that we can buy homes and support our families. Look, baby boomers are our parent’s generation. They are in their 50s and 60s now. All I see with all this complaining about millennials, is old people yelling at us, the new generation. “Get off our lawn,” they say. But we will not. We are working daily to support everyone including ourselves.
Of course, they look down on us because they are the old people, that is what they do best! Now, we are the youth and young adults of this day. It’s old people’s job to not like “our technology” and to blame us for the bad in society so they don’t feel bad. They are in a whole other section of adulthood. The part of adulthood that made mistakes and wants to blame the new generation. Who caused the crippling debt in the United States and homes to be so expensive? I don’t see many millennials in the government office positions of power and we need to be 35 to be president. What could we have ever done to cause any of the society’s mess? All we can do is look to trying to survive. We just try to vote, work hard, and make enough to buy this expensive a** furniture.
So much pressure left and right and even with our own peers who look like they are doing so well on social media. Guess what! They are adulting just the same! Ask them and we can find out the truth. So many of us on antidepressants for a reason. Divorce rates are still high. Everyone is just trying to make it. We put our best selves online to say, “I got this adult thing handled!” However, just know the truth. We are all living in adulthood. We are having the same hopes, fears, and frustrations as the next person. If we are honest about what we go through we can help each other make it too. That is the purpose of this blog. We can survive adulthood together!