true MOST days.
99% of the time I’m grateful for all I have.
I know my life is (comparatively) easy.
I’m aware many pray for things I (could) take for granted.
Even with all that awareness I’m gentle with myself.
Everyone has a hard and, although mine isn’t as weighty as some, it’s mine and it can feel cumbersome.
It’s during those moments I find solace in the phrase:
I can’t adult today.
It’s on those days I walk the Child to school, statement mason jar firmly in hand and display this message to all the big people I see:
And then I’m fine. 4 words are all it takes for me to yank on my big girl panties and do it another day.
A public acknowledgement (offline or on) this Adulting is *not* what it’s portrayed to be.
A public announcement of I’m over it for today. Tomorrow? I’ll let you know.
I’ve become linked to this phrase, too.
Tweeted funny Adulting quotes. Tagged in photos. Emailed articles.
And I love it.
And I had to write my own.
Myth #1: Adulting is all candy in the checkout line.
This myth has been served to us literally and metaphorically.
As a child, when I waited in the Giant Eagle (shoutout to you, Yinzers!) checkout line, I remember thinking: When I’m big I’m buying all the candy.
I drooled over the sweet stuffs stacked next to me and couldn’t believe *my* Adult wasn’t tossing sugar on the conveyor belt just because she could.
Adulting seemed the ultimate in freedom. You could drive (anywhere! anytime!). You could chose what you did all day and what you ate/drank while doing it.
Sure I had a vague sense Adulting might not only be back-to-back Love Boat/Fantasy Island episodes (shoutout to you, Gavin MacLeod!) while sticky with Lik-m-aid Fun Dip–but I definitely thought there would be more of that happening than there is.
Myth #2: Adulting is bossing people around.
I learned this myth untrue immediately after college.
I was a low-level retail employee (had a boss) while I was simultaneously in graduate school (many professors. many bosses).
Everyone told me what to do. I told no one what to do.
It’s only gotten bossed around’ier from there.
We adopted a child who quickly earned the nickname Tiny Dictator (AKA The Boss of My Sleep).
I chose a career path which supplies me with multiple
clients bosses and zero underlings at whom to bark orders.
The child became school age and her teachers inexplicably become the boss of me as well.
When we’re young it seems, by virtue of the fact you’re a big person, Adults possess all the control.
Once we grow into actually being the big person we realize this is all a
n illusion myth.
A myth which gave birth to one of my fave anti-Adulting quotes:
I’ve wanted to run away more as an adult than I ever did as a child.
Myth #3: Adulting is dressing like you want.
Ahhh (my) youth.
My teens were also spent appearing mere moments before it was time to leave for the bus stop, hoping to escape unnoticed and being sent back upstairs to scrub my face clean of make-up.
Back then I bought into the myth Adulting was being free to wear whatever I wanted and to paint my face entirely how I chose.
This is a complete fabrication and, concurrently, not one at all.
As an adult you can dress & paint-up as you choose…you simply need to remember people will judge you for it.
I believe in leggings as pants.
I consistently look as though I’m headed to the gym when, at the moment, I don’t even have a membership.
For me being a kid was knowing people judged me by how I dressed and not caring.
Adulting is realizing people still judge, still not caring and yet *still* (heavy sigh) being aware my sartorial selections impact more than just me.
The jobs I’m chosen for. How people perceive our family. Assumptions people make about my Child.
And that’s all before one considers the many inane Things A Woman Shouldn’t Wear After Age 40 articles being written.
yep, I own multiple versions!
Myth #4: Adulting is “do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life!”
There are rumors (like unicorns & bloggers who make 6 figures with a 40 hour work week) of Adults who live this myth.
I bought into this one, created a business, loved what I did and adored the people with whom I worked.
As we Adult we may be gifted opportunities to do what we love. We still work hard every damn day to succeed.
I think this myth is why, when wearing my Adulting tee, I receive (positive) comments from men and women.
In fact, when I’ve donned my I cant ADULT today for school drop-off, it’s dads who most often laugh and make comments of assent.
Perhaps the line would be less myth’y if taught to us like this:
Do what you love and you’ll probably
end up hating itfinding you love it just a tiny bit less. So keep that in mind.
Myth #5: Adulting is no longer needing a Girl Squad.
Whether you rocked the formative years or look back on them sans-fondness I think we all agree it helped to have friends.
From middle school onward nothing made us feel normalized and protected like a tight circle of females.
We needed peers to hangout with and to seek advice from when we struggled.
I falsely believed– somewhere between graduate school and motherhood –I’d discover a me who was fine rolling solo.
I was wrong.
Even more than when I was younger I lean hard on my tribe.
Adulting, I’ve learned, is being a duck (calm & cool on top of the water. flailing like maniac underneath) and demands a flock of friends around whom you can let it all hang out and get crazy *above* water.
Adulting is needing connection with other women and processing life through sharing with friends.
Younger-me could have taken or left her girl squad. Adulting-me cannot
live Adult without it.
own. worn once.
As I wrote this post I wondered if, thanks to mass appropriation of this silly phrase, ours will be the final generation surprised by how hard Adulting really is?
I hope, even if future generations aren’t surprised, they still choose to wear the tee shirt.
- Have you, too, been surprised by The 5 Adulting Myths?
- What might you add as Myth #6?