Surprising Things About Adulthood

Last month, I wrote a post reflecting on high school and comparing my dreams then to my life now. This post is a variation on that topic. Today, I want to talk about things that really surprise/d me about being an adult, sometimes despite adults having warned me over and over.

For those who don’t know me, I’m 27 going on 28, in case you’re curious how much old I am as of this writing. This list may not be universally applicable because obviously my experience is not everyone’s.

  • Adults would always say stuff like “you’re as old as you feel” and shit like that, which I always thought was bullshit because I felt like an adult then and I wasn’t. Well, once I became an “actual adult” by all accounts, I still feel like um not that. Like, seriously, there is nothing weirder than having to refer to myself and my friends as “men and women.” I mean, technically, I know it’s accurate but it feels SO WEIRD.

gif what's my age again blink 182

  • Conversely, you will feel so damn all the time. Like, excuse me it has not been TWENTY years since Toy Story came out. That cannot be true. Also, the nostalgia for the music of your youth will strike, and you’ll be so excited to hear even songs you hated.

gif old doctor who

  • More of my Facebook friends are married than aren’t. Also, many of them have started having kids ON PURPOSE. How even are we old enough for this? Upside: weddings mean reunions. Downside: oh shit that former friend didn’t invite you. Womp womp.

gif i do not want to catch pregnancy

  • If you aren’t married and/or don’t have kids yet, everyone will ask you when you’re going to do that. Apparently as soon as marriage equality was announced, my lesbian bestie got a call from her mom like OH HEY YOU CAN GET MARRIED NOW. Welcome to hell, dear bestie. About kids, I’ve had multiple coworkers tell me that I will change my mind on having children, like they know me better than I do. No, sir, you do not, and even so that’s so inappropriate my god.

gif when are you going to get married

  • And you’re going to start to hurt. In my early 20s, I started occasionally to wake up in severe pain because I’d slept wrong or bent my neck wrong. WHEN YOU ARE OLD, YOU CAN INJURE YOURSELF BY SLEEPING; WE ARE SO FRAIL. At some point in my mid-20s roller coasters started to jar my bones in a way they didn’t used to. Only just recently I’ve lost the ability to sit on my legs for long periods of time; now, if I do that, I hobble around like a geriatric until I recover. My ability to bounce back from drinking bunches is also diminished.

gif back pain loki

  • If you’re not one of the lucky ones, the white/gray hairs will start sneaking on in, resulting in paranoia that you will either lose all your hair color or your hair full stop.

gif slowly receding hairline

  • Remember how you used to be able to stay up until 3 or 4 AM and it was awesome? Yeah, that time is pretty much done for. Last October, my friends and I went to a club for a Harry Potter party. Four of the five of us fell asleep on one of the only couches in the place and had to be woken up to go home. Seriously, it’s so hard to stay up past like two anymore. And I was never really a clubbing/bar person but like my god do those things have zero appeal these days.

gif yes to staying in more 30 rock

  • The drama never stops. It never even gets less childish. Currently, I have a friend who has been mad at me for months but has left only passive aggressive clues to the anger (like how your cat or dog might pee somewhere to show their annoyance) and not actually ever said a word to me about it. Wisdom can come with age, but the opposite also happens. Seriously, petty friendship fights will never ever stop. My parents and their friends (all in their 60s-70s) have totally childish group drama. When I listen to them talk about it, I realize that this stuff will never ever stop. Ever.

gif bitch golden girls

  • It’s impressive how much you grow up and also how much you don’t. At some point, I stopped giving so much of a shit what people thought. At the same time, though, the pains of your past never entirely recede. And those people you do give a shit about? It fucking HURTS when they decide you’re not worth their time. When I was a teen, I just thought I’d be perfect and completely over everything, but it both does and doesn’t work that way. Your past will always be part of who you currently are.

gif i don't care GOT

  • On the other hand, though, if you’re lucky, you’ll find out that you’re not as weird as you thought you were. For me, I found this community and I’ve never felt so understood. Thing about myself I was so uncomfortable with have helped me bond with people who totally feel the same way. Before that time, I’d literally never found people who could identify with those things and that was HUGE.

kindred spirits anne of green gables

  • Also, at a certain point, you’re like “who gives a shit what’s fashionable? I like this and I’m going to wear it.” When I was a teen, I bought all these tragic, horrible clothes that did not flatter me at all and that, honestly, I didn’t even like, but they were COOL. They said GAP on them. Now, I buy what I like. I get weird comments sometimes about wearing skirts and dresses so much, but IDGAF.

gif bitch i'm fabulous

  • Same goes for the books you like to read and TV you like to watch. People who judge you for reading YA or romances or novels or watching ANTM or the CW or whatever-the-fuck are not people whose opinions really matter on those things anyway. Doesn’t mean they’re not good people, but I’m not going to take joy out of my life because someone might judge me because my book has a hot shirtless guy on it.

gif i don't give a fuck

  • You do not magically learn how to adult. I was under the false assumption that after college I would be like ready for shit. Um, no. When things break, I call my parents and am like HOW ADULT DO. What I still haven’t figured out is how they know how to do all of that stuff. Apparently, we’ll just pick it up along the way.

gif i need your help dad supernatural

  • Speaking of parents, I sort of became friends with mine now that I don’t have to live with them anymore. It’s not going to work this way for everyone, but mine don’t parent me unless I ask for it most of the time now, and we can discuss things reasonably. A key element to this is mine too: I had to learn to stop acting like a teen when I was around them, which is actually really hard.

family stone parents and kids

  • Meg (Cuddlebuggery) mentioned just being able to completely fill up the tank of a car, rather than putting in $20 or whatever she had. At a certain point, even bigger purchases stopped making me break down crying and became commonplace. When I bought a couch just out of college, I’m pretty sure I actually cried in the store because SO MUCH MONEY. But now, I could just go buy a new laptop if I wanted or go on a shopping spree (heyyyy June). I can plan and go on vacations, and maybe even stay in hotels! Buying a car will probably be a whole other story.

gif shopping

  • I’m still not mature enough to enter a porn shop, because I know I would just break down laughing, as Meg said happened to her when she tried.

gif not a successful adult

  • I don’t know about you guys, but I was so excited to be done with school that I’d never given serious serious thought to what being an adult would be like. I mean, assuming you get a 9-5 job, that really will probably be your life for like forty years and holy shit it is terrifying/boring/stressful. In a way, though, it is nice to have that set schedule. If only work weeks were only three days though.

gif we get to home office

  • Also, I don’t know anyone who doesn’t complain about their job sometimes. No matter how much you love your job, you will sometimes hate your job quite a lot. But hey you can eat food so that’s awesome. Also that disposable income (hopefully)! I have one friend who once delivered this big speech about not settling like everyone else he knew and holding out for his dream job (his parents are rich and he could afford to do this), but even he ended up settling. A job’s a job. Sometimes I’m kind of glad I don’t have a job in something that I’m passionate about, like books, because what if I ended up hating them. (That wouldn’t be the case for all, but with my personality it might happen).

gif office space stare at my desk

  • Your taste in food really does change and, this is shameful to admit, salad can be delicious. (I don’t know who I am anymore tbh.)

gif salad

10 responses to “Surprising Things About Adulthood”

  1. I’m 32. And yes to all of this! What really shocks me the most, though, is how fast time goes. I think it’s because of working a regular job. I’m just trying to get through until the weekend. And then somehow a month, 6 months, a year has gone by.
    Quinn @ Quinn’s Book Nook recently posted…Reader AnxietyMy Profile

  2. Yes!

    I am 33 and still call my parents when things break in my house. Or car. Or anything else really. Which is sometimes silly because they live 1000 miles away so he can’t exactly come fix it.

    When I was in high school I thought I would leave the high school drama behind, but you are right, it’s the same childish crap, every one is just older!

    One thing that surprised me about being an adult is that I am able to make the unfun decision because I know its a better choice. I had to buy a new heat pump this year and it ended up costing me more money that I thought it would (due to the previous one having been installed incorrectly) which put a pinch in my budget and I had to turn down things like BEA and a trip to the beach.
    Kimberly @ On The Wings of Books recently posted…Review * The Girl on the Train by Paula HawkinsMy Profile

  3. Hannah says:

    SO MANY TRUTHS HERE. (for context, I’m 24 turning 25.)

    1. There is a special place in hell for people who insist that you will change your mind about having kids. *fumes*
    2. The body-aching thing is so true. I’ve just started noticing it, and it’s horrifying! Things I used to be able to do, physically, are so much more of an effort. O______O
    3. Drama. In some ways, you just never leave high school.
    4. Not caring about what random people think has been the most liberating thing for me.

    Hannah recently posted…5 Alternate Takes on YA Love TrianglesMy Profile

  4. Yes! To all of this! All the yes!
    I swear as soon as I turned 18 the adults just disappeared…sort of like Santa does when someone ruins the whimsy for you. I ask for advice from my mom and the older I get the less the advice makes sense. I have sent realized we’re basically all just bullshitting our way through this. Now we trade advice, because at this point we can use all the help we can get.
    I’ve learned that the only way I’m going to make it through adulthood is to do crap people consider too young for me…like buying stunt lightsabers from Ultrasaber with my friends and running around outside at midnight hitting each other. I buy action figures because I think they are cool, and laugh at the adults who ask if it’s for my kid. Just like I laugh at the adults you ask when I’m having children, right before I ask them why they are so interesting in my sex life and watch them awkwardly shuffle away. I wear what I want, watch cartoons, geek out over comic books, and play video games until I regret not sleeping. Because why the hell not? I’m still more mature that pretty much all of my friends from high school, and I’m definitely more child free than all of them.
    Michelle @ In Libris Veritas recently posted…Reading & Ranting: Wreck This Journal Part 1My Profile

  5. Adulting is SO hard. I’m in my 30’s and still have to remind myself when I’m in professional settings that I am an equal. Somehow I always end up feeling like a kid when I get around “real” grown-ups. I also still need to call my mom to ask her how to do things. Especially when it comes to my kid. I thought when I had a child I would magically become “the mom” and know how to do things, but no… I still need her advice before I can proceed for some reason. I do like though that I’ve truly come to accept myself (as much as I probably ever will anyway), and also just wear whatever I think looks good on my and whatever I like. I’m always the girl dressed up when everyone else is in jeans and IDGAF. I do look fabulous! Thanks for the awesome post and adulting pep-talk! I now feel like I am less of a lesser adult!
    Michelle @ Pink Polka Dot Books recently posted…So Obsessed… (8)My Profile

  6. Lyn Kaye says:

    The PAINS. I just turned 34, and my knees are currently revolting, as well as my crappily-made uterus. Spoiler Alert: And it only gets worse.

    “If you aren’t married and/or don’t have kids yet, everyone will ask you when you’re going to do that. ”
    I answered one time, “I’d rather drink Drano than do all of that” and no one has asked me ever again. My family has accepted me as a budding crazy cat lady.
    Luckily for me, once I hit around 32ish, my coworkers stopped asking me that question, because most of them now are like, “NEVER GET MARRIED.” I am so happy to have something in common with my older coworkers. Most of them are in their 40s now, and all of them are divorced. They celebrate my singleness. That has gotten better, I am happy to report.
    Lyn Kaye recently posted…Book Review: Simon vs The Homo Sapiens AgendaMy Profile

  7. Heather says:

    bahaha, tell Jordan I said “WELCOME TO DA CLUB!” Also, “CHEESESTICK!”

    I’ve heard that the questioning surrounding marriages and childbirth do not let up until you have kids (at which point people will begin to tell you all of the things you’re doing wrong as a parent. Whoohoo!) Even planning a wedding in and of itself is a nightmare because, for some reason, everyone has an opinion about what you’re doing. Seriously, who even cares?!

    Oh god, the drama. I just went to dinner with a group of my girlfriends last week, and one of the ladies who was there and I had a little bit of a…falling out, I guess…earlier this year (it was more me just getting sick of her self-created drama and ‘woe is me’ stream of negativity that she never makes an effort to change, so I cut the cord.) It was so awkward pretending like everything was normal, but then again, I’m glad it didn’t make anything uncomfortable for the other people who were there.

    I feel like my 25th birthday was when my mentality really started to shift from teendom to adulthood, and I become more of an “adult” as the years go on (probably because I’ve been in more situations than when I was younger, and because of that, I’ve had to adapt/I know what to do if something comes up.) I did expect that I would just magically know all of the answers when I was younger, and the older I get, the more I realize everyone is winging it and just doing the best they can. I always call my parents, too, if a problem arises 🙂 I wonder if that ever changes?

    OMG, you like salad now?! Who is this person behind the computer?!

  8. This is a delightfully perfect post. I’m 29 and don’t feel like an adult. My mom was married for 8 years and had me at 29, like how is that possible?! I look at pictures of her and think, “Yes that is an adult female who can totally have babies.” But me? Ummmmm hahaha. I want kids, always have, but felt like once I hit this age I would feel ready, and I don’t? Not completely anyway. So that’s a jarring lesson I’ve learned.

    Nostalgia omg. I feel like I have mental anguish every day these days. Hocus Pocus is 20! Clueless is 20! Britney Spears is 33! Everything is oldddd. SINCE WHEN?!?! Ahhh.

    We talked about the friends one on your high school post; I still think about the friends I’ve lost when they were passive-agressive mad at me for months (ridic btw). But now I have better friends. And twitter friends, who make me so happy!

    I’ve worn boot cut jeans since 2000, do not give a fuck. They are my favorite and they make my butt look great.

    The money thing is crazy! I can pay all my bills and put money in savings without freaking out, what a world.

    I cannot drink anymore omg. Like, 2-3 beers and I’m done. That’s on top of not being able to stay up late anymore. I loved going to bars and now it’s like, how did I do that and wake up for work at 6? I would die nowadays.

    We will get to the “real adulting” eventually!!!

  9. This is a hilarious and true! I may only be 24 (going on 50, occasionally), but I can relate to over half these points.

    Thankfully my friends have only gotten to the stage of being ready to be married which is a whole terrifying prospect in itself, and I am slowly noticing some of them feel the need to procreate (what?) and I can’t help thinking are you even allowed to do that yet? I am so not mentally prepared for these big steps so how on earth are they?

    I still feel like such a pretend adult, especially since I was forced to move back home so I could save money for my own place. I continually have to ask my mom about completely normal adult things because I just don’t get how real life works! Why do they not have lessons about being a real grown up because I still feel like I’m 18 mentally, but my body is slowly beginning to make it’s protests known that I am in fact not.

    And the drama thing is so true, not just with friends (although it is very noticeable there) but at work as well! Some of these people are way older than I am and I can’t help but think they’re acting like children. It is crazy how hard it is for people to grow up. I couldn’t be bothered for this kind of drama at school, but now I’m stuck with it as a grown up as well, how is this fair?

    Anyway, thank you for the brilliant, hilarious and so completely relatable post. I am off to share it with everyone I know.
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