I’m in a weird stage of life. I’m in the latter half of my twenties, which feels strange to say because most days, I still feel like I’m 16. I’m closer to 30 than 20. Honestly, so far, I have really enjoyed my twenties. I still have a good three-and-a-half years left to enjoy them, and it hasn’t been all rainbows and butterflies, but I have grown so much in these past six-and-a-half years. Like most people, my twenties have been a period of self-discovery, of trying to figure out who I am and what I want from life. But still, it’s weird to realize where I am now and that I am no longer a kid, even though I feel like I still am most of the time.
This post, inspired by one Gina wrote, has been on my mind to do and I thought I would finally get it out of my head and onto my blog today. This is me at 26, and all the ways I feel like an adult and all the ways I still feel like a kid. (This will be fun to look back on when I’m turning 30, I think!)
Ways I Feel Like an Adult
- My career. I have really struggled with defining myself by my job for the majority of my twenties. I think it’s something a lot of us do, especially once we graduate college and we have to find a perfect job that looks impressive when we’re talking to other people. I didn’t have a great first job after college and I dealt with a lot of job-related anxiety because of that, but it has helped me to grow up, learn about office politics, and be accountable. And now, after losing my way a bit in my mid-twenties, I finally feel like I’m on the right track for what I want to do for the rest of my life and there’s nothing more empowering or adult-like than that!
- Dealing with my debt. I spent way too many years pretending my debt didn’t exist or that putting my school loans in forbearance is what I “had to do.” This is a very immature way of looking at finances, money, and debt. I’m glad I’m finally taking action and understanding that it’s very important to take care of your debt because that’s what responsible grown-ups do. Plus, debt is something I don’t want following me throughout my thirties, either.
- Paying bills. Can I just say how much joy I receive by paying my bills? Because I do. I just kinda enjoy the feeling of paying a bill, even if it’s not always fun to see my bank account dwindle in the process.
- Grocery shopping and cooking for myself. Up until the beginning of this year, my mom and I were grocery shopping together and eating our dinners together. We still do grocery shop together most weeks because it’s convenient, but at the beginning of this year, we started separating and making our own meals. (Partly because she went Paleo and I didn’t want to go Paleo.) It’s been fun to do this because it gives me more control over my meals and what I want to eat, and I always found cooking to be a very Adult thing (just me?). I enjoy finding new recipes, meal planning, and grocery shopping just for me.
- Being accepting of myself. I’m shy. I’m quiet upon meeting new people. I’m a highly sensitive person. Too many conversations or loud music is overstimulating for me. I’m an introvert to my core. I like to stay in most nights. Trying new things is scary for me, but I always feel better by doing so. I would prefer to spend time with animals than people. Bars are not my scene, and never have been. I can’t do small talk. I’m extremely funny once you get to know me. All these things? They have taken a long, long time for me to accept that this is me. This is what I like. This is who I am and how I was created. It’s taken me a long time to realize this doesn’t mean there is anything wrong with me or I need to come out of my shell or I’m boring. I’m just me and I really like me and I’m excited to grow even more into who I am throughout the rest of my life.
Ways I Still Feel Like a Kid
- Living with my mom. It’s hard to feel like an adult when you live with your mom. While it’s honestly the best situation for me to be in, and living with her is pretty awesome, there’s also a defeatist feeling to acknowledge that I still live with my mom. I don’t think I will really feel like a bona fide Adult until I move out on my own.
- Not being married, or having ever been in a serious relationship. Nothing makes me feel like I’m behind the curve more than realizing I’m 26 and I’m not married, nor have I ever been in a serious relationship. It makes me feel like something is wrong with me! And maybe there is. Who knows! Or maybe it just hasn’t been my time yet. (We’ll go with that answer, ‘kay?)
- Looking perpetually like a teenager. I don’t really mind that I look very young for my age, but it really doesn’t help feeling like an adult when I realize people think I’m still in high school. It doesn’t happen as much anymore, but on the last cruise I took with my mom, my dinner tablemates seriously thought I was under 18. Sigh.
- Not liking most “adult-type” food, like wine, sushi, etc. Yeah, I’m just not into that stuff. There are so many different “adult” foods that I just don’t like and it makes me feel like I’m missing some essential Adult gene. Shouldn’t I want to sit down with a glass of wine after a long day? Or have a sushi date with girlfriends? And don’t even get me started on fancy fine dining restaurants. Gimme a casual steakhouse any day.
- Not feeling as established as other people my age. Sometimes, it’s really weird to learn that people who seem to be so much more together than me are either younger than me, my age, or only a year or two older. I can give you a ton of examples, and I think that’s partly due to being involved in the blog world. You see all these people and they have these fantastic careers and great relationships and big opportunities and it’s so easy to feel like you’ve fallen behind on this ridiculous timeline. But my timeline is my timeline alone. It’s not supposed to match anyone else’s. (Rinse and repeat!)
What are some ways you feel like an adult, or still feel like a kid?