If you read my post about the mini crisis I experienced when I turned 25 a few weeks ago, then you’re aware of my current struggle: the reality that I have officially entered the cohort of marriage, child bearing, home ownership and reminiscent phrases beginning with “Back in the day.” Translation: I’ve officially reached adulthood.
I know I’ve technically been an adult since I was 18, but that was the fun, exciting, I’m-going-to-college, “Yas Lawd, no more curfews!” type of adulthood. *hashtag Freedom*
When I turned 21, it was the “Bam! Here’s my (real) ID, now let me up in ‘dis club!” type of adulthood. *hashtag SHOTS* *hashtag Turnuuuup*
But this right here, this is that insurance-due-on-the-first, car-note-due-on-the-15th, student-loans-due-forever, “What’s my budget looking like before I put my down payment on this trip?” type of adulthood. *hashtag bills.* -___-
And the craziest part of this whole adulthood thing is that I’m STILL not even a grown-up yet. Yes, I have a job. Yes, with good benefits. Yes, I have a car. Yes, with renewed tags. But no, I am not a grown-up. There is a difference.
Every adult is not a grown-up. An adult is more or less determined by age (as I mentioned earlier, adulthood technically starts at 18). A grown-up is an adult who has successfully learned the ways of adulthood. Someone who has pretty much mastered the arts of being responsible, using sound judgment and “peeping game.” Translation: Wise folk.
So with all that being said, I am definitely not a grown-up yet, and here’s why:
- I still live at home with my parents. Rent-free. Went away to school, graduated, and came right back home against my will (long story). So ever since then, I’ve been living rent-free with “the rents.” Which leads me to my next point.
- My finance game could use some fine tuning. You would think that anyone with a full-time job living rent-free would have Jesus’s credit score and the savings account of a soon-to-be retiree. While my CS is actually pretty high, my savings account could use a few more zeros than the one it currently has. But this is what happens when you “need” to buy a new outfit every time you go somewhere and spend a large chunk of your savings on a round-trip flight to South Africa (although the experience was worth every penny). My cousin Doug and his wife Jameal have been married for three years and paid off ALL of their student loans within the first year of their marriage. They are definitely grown-ups.
- My grocery-shopping skills are nowhere near where they should be. Make no mistake, a shawty can throw down in the kitchen. But going to the grocery store to buy the contents I need for said “throwing down” is where the real problem lies. Grocery stores overwhelm me. I never know what to buy or where anything is. And even if I make a shopping list, it still feels like I’m missing something important. My mom knows every grocery store — even the ones she’s never been to — like the back of her hand, and always knows exactly what to get. See now that’s a grown-up.
- I’ve been making the wrong claim on my W-2. Why have I been claiming 2 instead of 1 all this time? Is that why my refund check looks like an area code instead of a phone number? These are the types of questions I ask my mom, who files my taxes for me every year. For free. Another example of how she is a grown-up and I am not.
- I call my parents for everything. One day I was on my way to work when another driver flagged me down telling me my back tire was low (thank God for that man). Thankfully, I was right down the street from a tire repair shop. Even though I already knew that my best option was to go straight there, I still called my daddy for validation purposes. I also called him while I was at the tire shop to help me to decide which kind of tire I should get to replace the damaged one. I even had him speak directly to the sales rep to ensure that everyone was on the same page. See? Not a grown-up.
So yes, technically I’m old enough to do grown-up things like get married, have kids and rent a car without the underage fees — but I’m not grown enough yet. I need to get my life in a little more order before I commit the rest of it to someone else and then bring another life into the equation.
Until then, I’ll be utilizing my time to set and achieve personal goals, learn from my experiences, improve in my decision-making, and seek wisdom from the wise folk… the “adultier adults”… the grown-ups.