I moved out of my parents house when I was 16 to go to college. I graduated and become completely financially independent when I was 21. For over 11 years I’ve had a stable and lucrative job — 10 of them with one company. I’ve come out of the closet. I’ve bought three cars and sold one. I’ve gotten married. I’ve gotten divorced. I’ve bought two houses and refinanced one of them. I’ve moved to two different states. I carry only asset-backed debt. I save for retirement.
And yet despite all of that – I still don’t feel like an adult. I expected at some point in my life feeling like I’d made that transition from childhood to adulthood but it’s never happened. And part of me wonders if I made that transition earlier in my life than most people do. I’ve by no means had a tough childhood, but I’ve always been insanely responsible. Early on I associated better with people my parents’ age than my peers. And while I have done my fair share of stupid things (the ones that spring immediately to mind were with John Bariou) none of them come close to stories I hear from others and I don’t regret any of them (instead I cherish them).
So if we define adulthood as some level of maturity, some degree of responsibleness, some amount of self-reliance then perhaps I’ve been an “adult” most of my life. Or perhaps that idea is entirely too self-serving and the reality is that no one has a sense of “I’m now an adult”, that it’s a gradual progression from childhood that goes unnoticed internally and can only been seen by others.
Maybe I’ll revisit this post in 20 years after I’ve seen my nieces and nephews grow up.