Adult is a noun and not a verb!
…or why I despise the new verb, ‘adulting.’
I’m sorry to break the news to you, but if you are over the age of twenty-one, you are an adult. At least according to the law in every nation that I know of. Many countries bestow that title upon you on your eighteenth birthday. Some cultures declare you are an adult at the age of sixteen!
You might be doing everything you can to prove to your family, friends, and yourself that you are not an adult. You might not want to face grown-up responsibilities such as working on challenging relationships, paying your bills, washing your dishes, and saying no to your wants when you can’t handle financial obligations. As an adult, you no longer have the freedom to blame others for your present-day moral failures and irresponsible actions. You are responsible for owning up to your mistakes and cleaning up your messes. If you keep on sweeping those messes under the carpet long enough, you’ll find yourself tripping over procrastinated obligations.
Now, before you accuse me of shaking the long bony finger of judgment at today’s youth, let me just say that I know a few fifty-year-olds who have yet to embrace their adult status. The Bible gives us many examples of such behaviour. Aaron, the older brother of Moses, for instance. Aaron was probably nearing his centennial birthday when he created the Golden Calf and then tried to place the blame on the people of Israel. When Moses wasn’t buying into his story, Aaron’s attempt to cover his tracks might have been laughable when heard from the lips of a three-year-old. Coming from someone of Aaron’s age and stature, his words were pathetic. “I threw the gold into the fire, and out came this calf!” (Exodus 32:24)
Being an adult can be daunting; you can no longer blame the ‘grownups’ for not holding your hand. Your life is yours to screw up, and your life is yours to make magnificent! Yes, there are risks involved. But there are joys in being an adult! You get to take risks and learn from the risks. Yes, you need to own up to mistakes, but you learn from those mistakes. You get to mentor others and see them fly. You can pass along the truths you learned from falling and picking yourself up again.
Nothing is as sweet as the feeling that comes when personal dreams are realized through your hard work, self-denial, and patience. It’s okay to grow up; it’s okay to say that I am an adult, and it’s okay to say that I take personal responsibility for my life and the effect my decisions have on the world around me.
©2023 Katherine Walden