Don’t Feel Guilty If…You Don’t Feel Like an Adult Yet

by Heather on April 13, 2011 · 9 comments

We’ve already covered not feeling guilty about being a broke blogger, but today I want to talk about something a little bigger. Have you ever felt a little out of the loop not just because of your bank account, but because of your entire lifestyle?

With every other blogger posting about a dream job, a newly-purchased house, and a marriage, it can be a little hard for those of us bloggers who possess none of these things to feel like we’re where we should be in life.  But here are a few things that, if you don’t have them, shouldn’t leave you not quite feeling like a grownup yet (especially if you kinda are one).

1) Having a romantic partner. While we might think that living with our significant other (or just having one) would make us that much more mature, it isn’t always true. We all know plenty of wise, completely together folks who don’t live with or date anyone — and have no intention of doing so anytime soon. And I’m sure we all know an equal amount who live with their SOs because they would have a hard time surviving on their own (and who freely admit it!). Live-in partner does not always equal ‘adult.’ One of my favorite bloggers, Jess from How Sweet Eats, recently blogged about her fear of raising offspring — she doesn’t see herself as being all that responsible yet. And hearing someone — a married someone, at that — admit this was so refreshing. Plus, some of us twenty-somethings would rather date around or focus on figuring out our career paths, and doing so (and blogging about that instead of ‘the hubs’) doesn’t make us any less grown-up.

2)  A pack of dogs. Every other blog I read involves an animal. Seriously. And being able to take care of a furry thing or two might seem to be the precursor to having a family that includes another little living thing (a sign of maturity until “Teen Mom” came along), but this isn’t always the case.  I know some IRL friends who maybe should have thought twice before getting a little furball, as they have a hard enough time taking care of themselves. Knowing that, starting with a plant before anything that eats and breathes is relying on me sounds like a pretty wise (and grown-up!) decision to me.

3) Owning a home. It seems like so many bloggers lately have been showing off new houses and signed paperwork. At times, I start to panic because I am nowhere near settling down — with anyone or in any one place.  But then I remind myself that right now, I have different priorities, and that I can’t compare myself to someone I don’t even know.  Why would I buy a home in a place I might not even be in next year?  I may have professional goals that take me away from my city, so there’s no need for me to settle down right this second.  Just because you haven’t initialed on the dotted line doesn’t mean you still need to sit at the kiddie table.

4) Having that whole career thing figured out. We’re lucky to be living in an age where the possibilities are endless when it comes to jobs. Many of us also grew up with parents who encouraged creativity or outside-the-box thinking because they knew we wouldn’t be limited to the choices of doctor, teacher, or lawyer. But while we’re incredibly fortunate with our wide array of viable occupations, we’re also screwed if we happen to be just a little indecisive. I personally graduated college and started off trying to use my English degree, only to find out that I hated sitting at a desk all day and really wanted to be a personal trainer.  So while I do consider training to be my career now, I know that this is only the beginning of what I want to do with it. I’m still learning as I go, but that shouldn’t make me (or you!) feel any less adult. In fact, many bloggers took leaps of faith and floundered around a bit before making their blogs or services or organizations tied to their blogs into actual careers.  (But don’t feel guilty if you know that’s not you, either!)

So when it comes right down to it, there really is no one definition of being an adult and you shouldn’t feel like you’re stuck in Never Never Land if you don’t seem to match someone else’s criteria for growing up — especially when that criteria happens to be laid out by other folks in blogland.

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Stina April 13, 2011 at 2:51 pm

Thank you for this post! It’s so easy to fall into the comparison trap. The funny thing is I have 3 out of those 4 things (partner, dog, and a condo), and I STILL don’t always feel like a grown up! Funnier still is that my ex and I did live together, and I feel like more of an adult now with a boyfriend who doesn’t live in my house. Just goes to show that the feelings of being a grown up can only come from inside yourself!

PS I could kill a cactus, but my dog is going on a year with me and hasn’t died yet!

Lisa April 13, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Awesome! When I’m in a bad mood about life in general it’s easy to get sucked into comparing myself to these other bloggers who seem to have “everything.” They are freelance writers who go on vacation all the time, married, talking about having “baby fever” yadda yadda yaddda!!! My life is pretty darn good right now and I don’t have those things! :)

Laura @ Meet Virginia April 13, 2011 at 4:39 pm

This is so perfect! I was just thinking about this same thing last night. I will be linking to the post on my blog!

Summer April 13, 2011 at 7:18 pm

Great post. It can be so easy to fall into the trap of comparing yourself to others which isn’t fair in the first place, but also as you pointed out, you can’t always see the underlying struggles of that person who appears to have everything “figured out.”

Take me, for instance!

1. I do have a romantic partner, he does live with me and we are ridiculously in love. BUT we’re on different pages with a few things that cause excessive strife from time to time (ie; I want to stay in and work on writing projects, watch a movie, etc; he wants to go to the bar and shoot pool until 4am).

2. I don’t have a pack, but I do have one Siberian Husky. She is truly an AWESOME dog, BUT she has a seriously high prey drive which means my dream of having cats has to be put to the wayside, and there are times it’d be nice not to have to pay $30 for a bag of high quality dog food.

3. I do own a house, I bought it in October of 2009 after accidentally falling in love with it while showing it to a client (I sell real estate). I love it to pieces and am proud to say I own my home, BUT it is all original from ’86, which means it is in dire need of updates and some repairs here and there (which I cannot afford to take care of right now). And when my HVAC went out last summer (in South Carolina, so yes this was a big deal), I couldn’t call a landlord to foot the bill for the $4200 replacement. I am still paying on that as of now; and trust me, on top of the mortgage, electric bill and all my other bills, I’m kind of surprised my hair isn’t falling out from all the financial stress I’m under.

4. On paper, it sounds like I have the whole career thing figured out. “I sell real estate and I’m a freelance writer.” BUT, refer to the last half of #3 to see how successful the RE thing is going for me. 😉

I keep wondering what I was thinking when I was a little kid and thought it’d be so “cool” to be a grown-up. Reality is a harsh mistress.
Summer´s last post ..The most awful blog giveaway ever

cindylu April 13, 2011 at 10:10 pm

I stopped comparing myself to people a long time ago. I first started freaking out when I realized that at that age (24-25) my mother had a home and a few kids, and all I had to show for it was a couple of degrees and a few failed relationships. I freaked out for about a day when I realized that my mom’s life and opportunities were a lot different than my own. All those circumstances (career, children, significant others, home ownership) are so personal and differ a lot by region too. Some people might be fine with being an adult and never having children, being married (or legally can’t get married), owning a home or a pet. I know that in big cities, women tend to get married later, etc.
cindylu´s last post ..Survey- is Dodger Stadium safe

Anna April 14, 2011 at 1:39 am

You know, when I think about it, I cannot think of one “big” blogger who is single… every single one I can think of is either married or in a serious relationship. Interesting.

In all seriousness, I needed to hear this today. As soon-to-be college graduate, I have none of the above and probably won’t for awhile. It can be easy to be the odd one out in the blog world, but I am what I am!

Tiffany @ Simply Shaka April 14, 2011 at 2:20 am

I was just thinking about the first paragraph the other day, it is interesting!

Anna-don’t feel bad, I am 31 and quitting my job in two wks. I still have no clue what I want to do but look forward to having a fun time figuring it out!

I have a dog and yeaaaah, that’s it. He is enough for me right now.
Tiffany @ Simply Shaka´s last post ..Can you smell the balls I’m cooking

Melanie May 3, 2011 at 8:39 pm

Thank you for this blog post. Seriously. I’ve been reading a lot of the bigger blogs for a couple of years now and feel totally behind because my husband and I aren’t well-off and don’t have kids. Or tiny dogs. I’m almost 30, and I’ve been married for almost 9 years, and we’re still scraping by on 1.5 income while doing the starving-grad-student thing. I have a cat, but she’s hardly the omg-isn’t-my-dog-super-amazing-and-the-cutest-thing-ever?? She’s socially awkward, neurotic, and pees on random things (like my pillow).

It’s nice to know that there are other people who don’t feel like they’ve “grown up” yet, and that’s okay.

Love this blog:)
Melanie´s last post ..PeeWee Herman- Camping- and Things I Wish I Could Say

Jessica October 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Thank you for this post. I constantly wonder how so many bloggers just have it all figured out..
They have a new home, work from home, love their pet, their spouse, and everything is just perfect.
I really wonder how they eat copious amounts of oatmeal and carbs, but stay a size 0.. Its magical

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