When is this feeling like an adult thing supposed to begin?

I would appreciate it if someone would let me know because since the age of eighteen (that’s nine years ago) when people told me I became an adult I haven’t felt like one. I know plenty of adults. but all the people I know who are my age and younger (and some of them older) don’t seem like adults. They seem like teenagers still.

I believe there’s a phenomenon whereby people ‘stay young’ for longer these days. Is this phenomenon really as significant as it seems?

These mysterious fabled ‘adult’ people seem to posess perfect cool, measured, accurate behaviour. I can’t wait to be one of them.

Used to be when your government demanded you get on a bus and get the living crap harassed out of you for several weeks, at the end of which you were a Warrior and a Man. (Unless, of course, you weren’t packing the gear to be a Man in the first place.)


I’m 47 and it hasn’t happened yet. Can’t say I’m looking forward to it either. It seems to involve having your enjoyment of life surgically removed.

I asked my father on the morning of his 60th birthday if he had any wisdom to impart.

His response was that he had no wisdom, he still felt like a kid and the only thing he noticed about getting old was the physical deterioration - he wanted to do stuff that he couldn’t physically do any more!

No, not that…:stuck_out_tongue:

46 and not even close. Hell, look at my sig.

Seriously, I just don’t feel like a grown-up. I hang out with animals all day, I’m in and out of schools, I don’t have to deal with small children of my own anymore and I do believe I actually feel younger than I did ten years ago.

You know what I want to do more than anything else in the world right now? I’m kind of associated with a band. I do some writing for them and go to their gigs. I’d kill to go on tour. Run away with a rockstar? Oh HELL yes!

Want even more honesty? Instead of settling into old age and waiting for the grandkids to start arriving, I’m seriously considering dumping my common-law husband of twenty-five years and going after someone else. Seriously. If he’s actully as interested as he sometimes seems, I’m doing it. I feel like I just stepped out of highschool and everything’s still ahead.

Grown up? Not a chance.

Geez, 46 too and I hope to hell I never grow up.

First SOB calls me an adult gets cat doody in his shoes, got it?

Well, I’ve found that that first mortgage payment focuses the mind wonderfully. :wink:

Really, the house thing. Not adult in a bad way, just adult. If I don’t fix it/clean it/protect it/shoot it in the face with a shotgun, nobody’s going to. Dog throws up? Can’t pretend you didn’t see it and wait for the next person to wander around. Toss the bills in a pile on the table? Better go through them later, 'cause nobody else is going to clean up the table and find the bills.

I found that the first time it hit me was when I realized that I was truly responsible for kids. I was the adult in the room, on the trip, whatever. I still try to fight it whenever I can, but…

I’m 53. I’ll let you know shortly after I find out :slight_smile:

Well, all of that could be said for simply living on your own, too – I’m still a renter at the age of 34, but when I deal with household stuff (like the pipe that burst in the basement earlier this year) I certainly feel like an adult. :slight_smile:

Not for me it didn’t. I have a house, a permanent job, and I’m 34. I still feel like a kid, except for the fact that I have arthritis and am in way more pain now than I used to be. Other than that, I often feel like an imposter in this world of grown-ups. If I had a kid, maybe that would do it for me, but that’s not happening for a while yet, so… I guess I’ll be an old kid for a while longer.

I agree with the “living on your own” thing. I thought I’d feel more grown up when I graduated college, started my own business, or bought a car. I didn’t.

Recently I entered all of my finances from the past 10 months into Quicken, since the time I bought a house. I spend .4% of my monthly budget on entertainment/dining out. POINT FOUR PERCENT. So that means 99.6% of my budget goes to my house, car and dog. Oh and smoking. mmmmm smoking!

I’m not sure if I really “feel” like an adult - but I spend money lik eone :slight_smile:

I’m 42, almost 43. I’ve only started to feel like an adult in the past couple of years.

I think what really did it was learning to be aware of and perceive others’ feelings, and in the process struggling through my first equal man/woman relationship that was not either intellectual discussion or (in one memorable case) wild monkey sex, but actually involved emotional connection, struggle and growth.

I don’t own a car or a house, so I didn’t have those milestones to change me.

I dunno about that. To me, it seems that I’m finally starting to really enjoy things.

I’ve struggled and dealt with many of the things that bedeviled my earlier days and made them hell in some ways. I’ve finally outgrown those feelings of shame and inferiority that were childhood’s and adolescence’s gifts to me. Now I can relax and find my power and my sweet spot in the world.

I went from feeling like kid to feeling old. Now, looking at the Genisis planet, I feel young.

I can think of 2 situations in my life when I came to a concious realization that I was a real grown up.

Once was when I realized I no longer worried about my parents’ reactions to the choices in life I made. Not that I didn’t care what they thought, it was about having more self-confidence in my own judgement.

Another time was a few years ago as I started the job I still have. It hit me I was the go to guy for a whole range of things. It was the first job I had at which I was hired into a moderately senior position. and was expected to really step in, shake the place up, and solve a number of specific problems. This was about seeing that I had the respect of other people that I thought of as professionals, and truly being accepted as a peer.

Some people might argue that becoming a parent is another occasion to engender the feeling of responsibility and adulthood. Not being a parent, I can’t verify that.

Might it be as simple as that? Adulthood = acceptance of responsibility plus a certain degree of comfort with responsibility? I hesitate to make that claim, because nothing is that simple, but it’s not terribly far off.

Since I’m 46 too, I just had to chime in with my coevals. From time to time I remember I’m supposed to have been an adult for many years now, but that feeling has never kicked in. Au contraire, I party and rock-‘n’-roll more now than in my 30s.

I’m 24 and not only do I feel like an adult, I feel like a cranky old man. And I hate it.

Of course, the reasons behind this would detract from the otherwise good-natured theme of this thread.

I think I need a good, stiff drink. Or a hug. I’m not sure which. :frowning:

It’s still slightly odd when folk refer to me as “lady” or “madam”. I know in my mind I’m supposed to be all grown up now – and my bod aches in some places these days that tell me I’m indeed gettin’ older – but I still don’t feel “adult”.

Nearly 43 now, and still just a greying-hair kid. :slight_smile:

It was like that for me, too. The first time I woke up in the middle of the night confused and a little afraid and realized that I’m the mom, so I can’t be afraid of the dark anymore, I felt like an adult. It’s the same when one of the kids comes to me with an emergency - I’m the one who has to know what to do and get it done. I wouldn’t have it any other way, either.

Of course, I never thought that being an adult meant you could no longer have fun. On the contrary, adults get to do things like go on weekend trips to music festivals out of state without having to justify themselves to anyone else.