No, really, what is an adult?

What is an Adult? Giving this “Being an Adult” thing a try.

No, really, what is an adult?
What is an Adult?

I’ve decided that it’s past time I owned becoming an adult.

I mean, I’m sure I’ve been an adult for a while now. Legally one for a decade or so.

But what is an adult anyway?

Why do we have to Adult the same way as previous generations?
XKCD nails this one.


My personal milestone, reached only recently, was having a pantry full of food. Not just salt and pepper and flour, but things that if I’m cooking and the recipe called for ‘1 teaspoon of blah-blah’ I wouldn’t have to go out and buy a whole new bottle of blah-blah because it’s already there.
Yup. That’s my definition of an adult.
Growing up, all the adults I knew had pantries brimming with innocuous things like wine vinegar and bicarb soda and cinnamon sticks. Things that are completely useless on their own, but add in a sprinkle of this and a cup of that, throw in some meat and veggies, and between them all you can create an entire meal.

All things that meant that they had been in the game a while, had been there done that and had the leftover food colouring to prove it.

It’s all small things, leftover things that slowly but surely amass towards a collection of food.

What's your definition of what an adult is?
This is what an adult looks like. Mess, herbs and all.

As a teenager I strove to be as mature as possible, as ‘grown up as possible’, and really if that’s your definition of adult then there’s really not much difference between some teenagers and adults. Everyone’s bumbling along trying to do the best that they can with what they’ve got. I know plenty of ‘adults’ who can’t spell to save themselves and will call someone names at the drop of a hat, whilst there are plenty of young people who are genuinely gracious and can understand the true purpose of an argument.

Which leaves me with my own definition.

Leaving home and fending for myself meant that there was always more rum in the fridge than food, but slowly over time I’ve amassed quite the collection of comestibles, and now am happy to declare myself ‘Grown Up.’ Which is not to say that I’ve done striving, learning, failing and bettering myself, but that I’m going to own this.

Who’s with me?


P.S. What’s your definition of an adult? Are you one? Let me know in the comments.

2 thoughts on “What is an Adult? Giving this “Being an Adult” thing a try.”

  1. The pantry thing is good, absolutely.

    For me, thinking like an adult meant a level of self-control, forethought and discipline (looking at you, empty bank account!) That I did not aspire to until late in my 20’s. So personally i didn’t really feel like an adult until I was a parent. I know that’s old fashioned, and am not saying it’s should be same for everyone. But until I was a parent and HAD to be a responsible person (to a point 😉 I had been previously living a very care-free life with little forethought or self-preparation for what happens next.

    1. I hear you about the bank account thing. I used to think that I’d regressed on that: when I was younger it was so much easier to keep money in my pocket and I had way less of it then than I do now. Then I realised that the difference between then and now was simple: if past-me didn’t spend money, I just didn’t get a new shirt or trinket. However now if present-me doesn’t spend money I don’t eat. So not so much regression, as accumulation of responsibilities. I don’t know what it’s like to be a parent, yet, but perhaps one day I will.

      It’s fascinating to hear about how varied people’s feelings and thoughts are about what constitutes an ‘Ádult,’ thanks for sharing yours!

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