What Does It Mean to Be an Adult?

I bought a DustBuster today. And I feel oddly excited about it. Which … kind of makes me feel lame. But also practical. And maybe a bit like an adult.

Which begs the question: What does it mean to “be an adult”?

Even better, what does it mean to FEEL like an adult? And if you don’t feel like an adult, do you wish you did? Or if you do feel like an adult, do you wish you didn’t?

Big questions, I know. I asked a few of my friends about all of this, and mostly I got a lot of of “huh, I don’t know. I guess I feel like an adult? Some of the time? I mean I have the makings of an ‘adult’ with a 401k, insurance, paying my bills, etc. but errr … ?”

And, I guess — at the age of 36 — that’s kind of how I feel about it, too. Some days I’ll do very adult-like things and feel all grown up. Other days, I’ll laugh at something inappropriate or feel completely childlike in my not-knowing of something. And then on some days — with everything that’s going on in the world — I wish I didn’t have the pressure of actually, by society’s standards at least, being the age of an adult. After all, conscious citizenship of this world isn’t for the meek or mild.

I will give it to my friend Jodi, though. Of all the people I discussed this with, she gave an immediate answer without losing a beat: “It means no one has to take care of you — you take care of it all without help.”

Huh, I thought. That’s not exactly the spiritual answer I was searching for, but it’s pretty damn right on. And simple AF.

Does Jodi feel like an adult? Hell yes, she does. And I bet she owns a DustBuster.

What do you think? What does it mean to be an adult? Do you feel like one? If so, do you feel that way all the time or only in certain instances? And just for the sake of discussion, I’d love to know your age if you’re comfortable leaving it in your comment. I so wonder how my answer will change as I get older … Jenn

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This article was originally published on fitbottomedzen.com.

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  1. Kind of going off what Jodi said, I feel like an adult when I am taking care of someone else, aka my dog. I’m 28 and I’d like to say that no one takes care of me, but I still feel that I can be very much taken care of by my husband and even my parents. Being able to take care of my dog at least gives me some sense of adulthood!