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Blueroses's avatar

Are you an adult?

Asked by Blueroses (17747 points ) February 8th, 2011

When I was a kid, my parents were grown-ups, my grandparents were “old” (they couldn’t have been much over 50) and adults were everywhere telling us what to do and making good choices for us.

I’ve been waiting for that magical moment of realization that I’ve joined the adult ranks as an official member but it hasn’t come yet. I asked my last boss (nearly 70 years old) when it happens and he said he was still waiting too.

Is there such a thing? Does anyone ever feel grown? Do we all only pretend, to greater or lesser success, at acting the part?

Do any of you feel secure in calling yourselves adults?

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38 Answers

kess's avatar

You’;re fully grown when you return to the state of a childlikeness

downtide's avatar

I don’t feel any more adult now at 44 than I did at 18.

picante's avatar

I’m too adult for my own good sometimes, and I still hurt like a child on occasion. I have childlike innocence around many things, yet cynicism borne by age.

I think maturation is more about finding peace with yourself and the world and not about achieving “adulthood.”

DominicX's avatar

I feel like an adult to some extent, at 19 and I have no problem calling myself an “adult”. (And I don’t feel old!) But I still don’t feel fully “adult” mainly because I rely on my parents for money and don’t have a job.

Brian1946's avatar

I feel like I was basically an adult once I had my own house, and that was when I was 27.

However, I don’t think I had a fully mature relationship until I was 47.

I would say that I’ve been an adult for about 17 years now, and I’m 64.

faye's avatar

When raising your own kids and making decisions about their lives. Not to say I can’t revert to 17 on a sunny day when some old music plays!

iamthemob's avatar

I feel exactly as mature as I did when I was 20. I felt like a kid then too…

Blackberry's avatar

To an extent, yes. Maybe 70% adult, and 30% immature weasel.

Michael_Huntington's avatar

I’m 12 and what is this?~

Blueroses's avatar

@Michael_Huntington that really made me laugh. Thanks!

aprilsimnel's avatar

Some parts of me are very much an adult. Some parts of me are ~14. And some parts of me are 6. That’s not necessarily all bad, either.

And as @kess points out, “childlike”, that’s good; “childish,” not so much.

Fyrius's avatar

Maybe this traditional distinction between children and adults is a false dichotomy. There is no clear threshold age. It’s a gradual transition.

I know what you mean. I remember when I was a toddler, the 12 year olds in school seemed so huge and grown-up and all that. Then it was my turn to be twelve years old, and it turned out it doesn’t mean squat. I still felt just about as much like a kid.
No, those teenagers at high school, those are all old and mature. Just imagine, being all of eighteen years old. They’re all so tall, too.
And then of course it was my turn to be a teenager, and once again nothing completely life-changing seemed to have happened in the intervening time. But oh dear, these here people are over twenty!

Well, at some point it started to dawn on me that being older looks very different from the outside than it feels from the inside.

What finally got me to stop waiting for the shiny badge was the realisation that there are plenty of adults that don’t remotely deserve that pedestal I always pictured them on. The realisation that no, you don’t have to take an IQ test, you don’t need to have all the answers, you don’t have to be a good person, you don’t have to be responsible, you don’t have to be independent, you don’t even have to stop being completely bloody stupid, to be an adult. They’ll let just about anyone into this club.

I’m 23 now. I have the independence privileges of an adult. I have the mental maturity of a late teenager, tops. And also that of a hundred year old man. It depends on the subject.

Am I an adult now?
It hardly seems to matter any more.

Bottom line: To hell with being an adult. Are you who you want to be?

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Cruiser's avatar

I don’t want to ever grow up! I will die forever young! Plus LITS to really grow too old!

Jude's avatar

I don’t always act like an adult, no.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

I aspire to act consistently as an adult. I too often miss the child in me and sometimes question my success as an adult.

bkcunningham's avatar

During one of my very first Fluther “discussions,” I said I had a childlike innocence and was told by some atheists that wasn’t something to be proud of or brag about. I’m still sulking.”

Ladymia69's avatar

I am no adult. I am a poseur of one, but inside I am still 8, 13, 15, 16, 17, and 19 all at the same time.

mrentropy's avatar

I still feel funny saying, “When I was a kid…” because it just doesn’t feel right.

ducky_dnl's avatar

Legally, yes.
Mentaly, no. :P

ChocolateReigns's avatar

Neither legally nor mentally. My sister says it’s scary how adult-like I act, though, and people often assume I’m 2, 3, even 4 or 5 years older than I actually am.

Blueroses's avatar

@mrentropy I love how you said that. I feel the same way… “when I was a kid… last Thursday.”

the100thmonkey's avatar

Perhaps the distinction lies in having to make far-reaching decisions that affect the lives of those younger than you.

I still love Super Mariokart, though.

Bluefreedom's avatar

You’re only as young as you feel and right now I feel 22 even though I’m 43. I’m an adult but I’m also a kid at heart. I have too much to do and see yet to even consider myself being old.

gorgeousgal3's avatar

When you don’t feel like your as naive as you were before.

Blueroses's avatar

hmm @gorgeousgal3 I’ve lost quite a bit of my naive perspective but I still am not “grown-up”.
Perhaps it is what @the100thmonkey says related to being responsible for a younger life. But then, I know “adults” who don’t have children and friends who have bred but haven’t changed their adolescent ways… hm, I feel sorry for their children and think I could do better. Is that a flag for adulthood?

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I’m still waiting for someone to give me my “Adult Membership Card.” I’m 31 and I still feel like a kid sometimes. Some days I feel like a mature, responsible adult, some days I just want to go to Disneyworld and hug Mickey Mouse.

jerv's avatar

I still pay video games, but I consider myself an adult since I paid for the computer I play them on.

Mariah's avatar

It’s funny thinking back on being in junior high, and thinking about how ~OMG GROWN UP~ college students are… now that I am one I wonder why I looked up to them so much back then. It really kind of ruins the magic.

Pandora's avatar

When you face most of your adult responsibilities in an adult manner than you are by defintion an adult. However we all have the capacity to behave like stubborn children once in a while. Its all a part of the human condition. It doesn’t mean you suddenly lost the abiltiy to behave as an adult when you need to. Its just not necessary to do so 24/7. If you don’t let loose a little than that is when stress shows you how much being isn’t always healthy.

cak's avatar

When I’m working on my project, yes. Cleaning the house, yes. Dealing with my children, yes. Building my Harry Potter Lego Set, nope. 100% child.

Also, I guess I am a child when I steal my son’s Flarp and make silly farting sounds.

I did my taxes, that brought me back to adulthood.

ucme's avatar

Nah, i’m a big daft kid, loud & proud & will forever remain so. My penis may beg to differ though :¬)

Foolaholic's avatar

If I am an adult, it would be in the sense that Randal Munroe describes.

choreplay's avatar

Love this question, lurve lurve lurve, I thought I was in some sort of minority thinking, I don’t belong in this life, aren’t people going to figure out that I’m really just a kid in this body. Trying to sense me status as an adult always feels surreal to me. I plan to continue to embrace my youth, even when 20 something’s reference me as old.

chewhorse's avatar

I think that adulthood is a tradition that I might add, is slowly loosing it’s effectivness. Corporate execs still run in this group because they feel it;s their duty to serve as an example but as an example of what? today’s generation asks.. Why, as an example of sanity comes an answer.. So, when these so-called adults were kids, they did as kids did but when they became adults they saw their childhood as an insanity.. Well, I enjoyed my insanity and still do.. The only thing that indicates my adulthood is the aches and pains that I now suffer but then again under the term of aches and pains, wouldn’t that be considered old age? Old age and adulthood doesn’t necessarily coincide thus the term ‘adult’ should not be seen as a prerequisite particularly. I think the lable is basically useless and passe except when associated with your granpaw who still clings to old school impulses.

bob_'s avatar

The day I signed my first check, I was all “to hell with the central bank, I can make my own money”.

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