I’ll be the grand old age of thirty two in a few weeks. Thirty two seems absolutely ancient to me, considering I had always assumed I’d be at least married with three kids, multiple generations of golden retrievers and living in a house I could ill-afford but it has a veranda and it’s mine so who gives a crap?! Well…that didn’t happen. My relationship status could be described as more complicated than quantum mechanics explained through hieroglyphics, I have zero golden (or otherwise) retrievers and the only thing I own is a pair of Nikes that I’ve already scuffed because I can’t take care of pretty things (or houseplants, FYI). I don’t save money, I just had a jar of Nutella for my supper and there’s a spider living in my shower that has taken control of my bathroom to the point that I ask his permission before I pee (his name is Sebastian and he appreciates common courtesy). Basically, I’m an overgrown woman-child who probably shouldn’t be allowed to use adult scissors without supervision. In my defense, those mother effers are SHARP.
I always assumed that I would reach a certain age in my early twenties and BAM I’d level up and know how to adult. My day would consist of a seamless routine of healthy eating, classical music, being evangelical about the deliciousness of avocados, drinking half a glass of Malbec, picking up children (presumably, my own) from activities like décolletage and ballet, and cooking a tasty yet nutritious meal (see: avocados) for my appreciative family who would then serenade me with a nighttime song before bed (my hypothetical children are indeed the Von Trapps). Instead, any semblance of routine is nonexistent. I have a job, which I adore and…well, that’s it. There are no Disney children, no spinning classes, no lunchtime tipple with Sandra whom I rotate the school run with. I get up, throw on whatever clothes I’ve decided to wash, lament the rotten avocado in my dustbin, go to work (I do adore my job), come home, work some more and basically collapse. Sometimes I’ll exercise, binge watch Queer Eye and maybe make a sandwich. I’ll WhatsApp audio my friends with the fascinating details of my day ‘my favourite stapler broke…but stand down, I fixed it.’ When it comes to anything approaching adulterific (see: Oxford English Dictionary, probably), like bills or errands, I get it done but in the most chaotic and least seamless way possible. Don’t get me wrong, I have no debt, I have no major stresses or issues when it comes to my personal or financial life, but that’s not to say it isn’t difficult. I have a pile of clothes in the corner of my room that basically looks like some kind of textile Everest. I have a press of expired cans of beans that I assumed I would need in case of some kind of zombie apocalypse. My heating has been broken since Obama was in office. There is zero organization in any part of my home. I realise I’m not alone here, but I also realise there are countless people my own age who are just more…adult. They have savings, they have health insurance, they have orthodontists for crying out loud! Do you ever look at some people your age who just seem so together and think how the hell do they do it?
For me, adulthood is the realisation that you’re entirely responsible for yourself. There’s no one else who’s going to pay those bills, or get that boiler fixed. Sure, you might have a supportive partner or even parents who are always willing to lend a hand, but when push comes to shove, it’s all you boo. And it’s tough. I mean, I know that’s all part of growing up. And it’s exciting in its own frightening way. And I’m far too old now to be complaining about what are really my own responsibilities, and simple enough ones at that. It’s just…I often wonder… will I ever have this adult thing down to a fine art?
The answer is probably NO. I think, like most people, I’ll always struggle a little. When I was a child, I viewed adults as absolutely infallible. They were, in my gullible eyes, were beyond fault. I know now what I didn’t know then: that I make mistakes every day. That I’m still scared, that I’m still foolish (at times 👀) and that I’m still learning and growing. And I think that’s a lifelong thing. There is no moment in life when everything finally comes together and you’re presented with some grand prize for finally having your sh*t together. I’m maturing everyday (though do not point out a Great Tit bird to me without expecting a bashful giggle). Most importantly of all, I’m happy. I’m happier than I’ve ever been and really, isn’t that what matters most of all? Well, that and cats wearing top hats. So maybe I’ll never be a boss at adulting, but doesn’t the world need people like me who can’t figure out what a tracker mortgage is? DOESN’T IT?!
So tell me, can you adult good? And if so, maybe share some tips while I try and stay inside the lines while I colour.