This is an interesting question, because I’ve had a couple times in my life when I considered myself an adult.
The first time I felt like a grown-ass adult, I was 21 years old, recently returned from 4 months living in Scotland (and a bit of travelling the Continent while there), and landed my first full-time job with full benefits. I remember feeling like earning my own health insurance and getting a 401(k) started was the turning point.
I continued going out with friends regularly, travelling to events when I could, and generally not being as responsible as I probably could (and should) have been. To be fair, that didn’t make me any less of an adult at that time. I paid for everything in my lifestyle with the money I earned at my job. I even managed to buy my first (piece of crap) car. Heck, it’s the same car I have to this day.
I even had a plan for what I wanted to do with my life – work as a Copywriter.
But as the years passed and I finally worked my way up through the company to do the work I wanted, I started realizing that I wanted something more and something different. I had at last stumbled upon Social Media Marketing and realized that was the work I wanted to continue doing. But something still felt off.
I hadn’t found myself. I was still learning who I was and what made me happy. And, as much as it absolutely sucked to say it to myself, I began to believe that I would just end up alone. I was just old enough to feel the biological clock ticking and there was no one in sight. I started making plans to purchase or build a “tiny home” and pay my mom and step-dad to let me set it up on their property, a short ways from their house.
Here’s the part of the story where it gets sappy, so I’ll keep it brief. I don’t want to get ahead of myself, but we’ve begun making plans for the upcoming years. We’ll be living together shortly and know where we want to live about 2 years down the line and even further out. The rest, we’ve discussed, will come as it does, when it does.
Am I an “adult” yet? I’m just shy of 27 years old, I work full-time in an industry I love, and I feel like my life is grounded with a partner. Honestly, I expected to answer in the negative at this point, but now… maybe I really have reached that point.