Last week, an ex-student of mine put up a photo of herself on her Instagram stories. In that, her hair was up in a bun, her eyes were defined with black kohl and her lips with a scarlet lipstick.
She looked all powerful and grown up. I reacted on her photo with a comment saying “grown up”. I could sense a shift in her as a person through that photo.
To that she responded, she feels like an “adult” nowadays. Her school bestie is getting married and at her age, there are expectations set by her own self and others, that creates a “pressure to adult”.
This got me thinking… Is there a difference, really? Do we always evolve for the better with age? The human trajectory from being a child to an adult, does it give one a better grasp on life?
What is it like being an adult? What is this adulting?
The contexts and narratives of mine and the earlier generations are redundant. We need to unlearn how we live and find new paths to navigate the world. I wish when I was young, adults talked to me about these things.
Maybe kids are better off. At least, they are well-intentioned, have lesser baggage and are naive, till adults poison their minds, unfortunately.
We need to accept certain facts. Adults are vulnerable. They stay foolish, make the same mistakes again and again. The inane and mundane makes them break into a laugh riot. Irrational fears and baggage lead them to form toxic habits and behaviour patterns.
Simple things are a luxury. They are unreasonable, so much so that they do mess up a lot. They can love and hate deeply, too. Oh yes, they are deeply flawed—insecurities, jealousies and politics—they do bring it all on. The list is long. But, you get the drift.
A certain notion of an adult is just handed down to young people, where they are assumed to have an upper hand on things. In reality, adults themselves are a far cry from the definition of it. Nope, adulting is not how it is sold to us as… Rather, it’s pretty overrated.
The only thing which stands out as a difference between an adult versus the child or young adult is just one elementary factor. That is accountability.
Looking with an authentic lens and derive the root of adulting, blaming others or the environment doesn’t work there. Every adult is accountable for their own life. Every choice made as an adult has implications and comes with conditions applied, just like with a credit card.
Yes, our childhood, background, environment, conditioning, value systems, people, things and situations contribute to making us a person. However, as an adult we can not constantly hold all those narratives guilty, as the bane in our life.
We have free will to better ourselves and our lives. That is our sense of accountability to our own selfx.
Do we exercise that choice as an adult? That’s another story all together! As much as it may sound arduous, we are responsible for all our life choices as an adult and henceforth, the actions. We can’t keep passing the buck.
Mostly, there are two kind ways adults shirk accountability. Which one are you?
First kind: as an adult, are you constantly tormented by external factors or the people in your life?
Well, you are responsible for allowing that hokum drama playing out in your life. As an adult, you have the means to walk away from that or take action to manage such anxiety-causing nonsense. Playing the victim or suffering like a fool is simply shirking taking the onus of accountability.
Get a grip on your own happiness. No one else can buy that for you. You are solely deserving and responsible!
The second kind: are you a trigger-happy tormentor? Do tactics like being self consumed, manipulations, using others to serve you, control and petty politics helps you better manage your life? This is again shirking accountability. Shutting down your own conscience or moral compass can’t keep you going for long.
It will catch up. You will get tired. Shame and guilt will show up physically and mentally. It is being delusional and again, shirking accountability. Playing out havoc will backfire! There are always outcomes and after-effects. Don’t crib then.
Accountability is the key to being an adult.
I guess if you are a child or at the threshold of adulthood, remember that the adults are selling you a hoax. You don’t need to buy into it. Do your thing, find your own authentic, unique way.