What was the first time I really felt like an adult?
There have been quite a few instances when others have told me that I’m an adult.
The logic of children is, of course, completely accurate as always. After finding out that I didn’t have a teacher as I was no longer at school, I was therefore diagnosed as an adult.
But if we’re honest, going from education to work isn’t the real transition.
And so the question returns – When does someone know they are an adult?
I have an answer.
The first time I knew for certain that I was an adult was the first time I felt fear and depression, and knew that no one beside myself could do anything about it.
I think the days you are happy are too much like childhood for anyone’s own good. You forget you are an adult, lost in childish grins and giggles.
Then something happens. Something adult.
You lose a job. You get repeatedly rejected in your chosen field. Friends have drifted away. Then it hits.
Then it hits that, even if you aren’t directly responsible for these events, they affect you and there is nothing you can do beside wait for the storm to pass.
You are an adult now. And you fend for yourself. You deal with the horrible things that inflict themselves upon you and hope that you come out the other side in one piece.
I’ve read others stating that awareness of money and financial obligations mark adulthood. That understanding the notion and amount of ‘The Water Bill’ must mean that you are fully grown up. And so earning a wage, paying taxes and repaying student loans should be the things to bring about the thoroughly adult mature mind-set.
It’s the emotions that smother and wrap themselves around the money and around those bills that reveal you as a grown up. Whether it’s stress or pleasure, worry or contentment. It’s there.
The adding up with excitement… or disappointment… how many sweets are affordable, is a picture of childhood. If that picture were to be edited, and suddenly the ten pound note was being looked down upon with a shaken worried expression, that hand would no long be the hand of a child. The age of innocence would have departed.
It would be the hand of an adult.