Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Too Cold to Think of a Snappy Title

Gah. It's 45º outside, probably colder in here. My feet and toes are purple and numb and the only things keeping my hands and fingers attached to me are typing, burning dog hair, and the metallic warmth of my computer.

My friend Katie posted something about adulthood recently. I've gotten into these conversations with Matt a few times, and my parents still consider me a child in many ways despite their equally frequent insistences that I am the opposite (I have to dwell in these contradictions constantly - maddening.)

So what is adulthood? As I told Katie, I have to fight disparities between my own sense of self and how others perceive me. It seems to be a head game from the start. These people are tracking the fluidity of adulthood. Some - myself included - may be tempted to say, "I know it when I see it." It doesn't feel that easy to me.

Physical maturity / emotional maturity / finish school or degree / financial independence / living independently / significant relationships / home / marriage / children /

These seem to summarize the main indicators of adulthood. The problem is that it presupposes a singular track of life in a certain order (not necessarily how I organized it, though) and just one view. For some people, it can also include leaving behind pre-adult interests: certain music, toys, movies, artistic pursuits, views of the world, friends.

So am I an adult? I'm not sure. I'm certainly old enough to be considered an adult; a quarter-century on this planet can do that to a person. Mentally, I've always been an adult who has been trying to be a child for once. In other ways, I would have to leave that to friends and family to answer.

Time to warm up the bed...


Liz said...

Sometimes, I think I should feel like more of an adult because I'm married now. But our relationship hasn't really changed since we got married (thank goodness!) and that makes me feel like I'm just pretending to be an adult.

The fact that people usually look surprised when I mention my husband doesn't help either.

Steven said...

It is a little weird, isn't it? But I guess that's similar to how I react whenever I hear someone mention their boyfriend or girlfriend, and I didn't expect them to have a relationship at all (usually a not-so-nice person) or someone being single even though they have many wonderful qualities.

I guess part of my view on adulthood includes the ability and accomplishment of effecting some change on the mental and physical world. That can be done easily with the personal, mental realm (to you and me, at least) through curiosity, learning, questioning, and syntheses of different knowledge bases (?) - it's the physical world that seems to be the main challenge.