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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