According to Urban Dictionary – which is, like, THE ultimate "reliable source" – the word “adulting” became a verb in the summer of 2014. Definitions vary depending on different users, but overall, it means “to do something grown-up and responsible.”
I'm just waiting for the word to be added to the “real” dictionary, alongside the other new additions: bling, bromance, chillax and jeggings.
Now that the word "adulting" has become a thing, any time a 20-something cooks dinner, does laundry or doesn't lose their house keys, they start bragging about it. They call it "adulting," and they want every other 20-something to praise them for doing it.
While most of my peers are great cheerleaders, I don't give a fuck if you work a 9-to-5 or if you managed to eat a whole serving of vegetables, or if you took a spin class or if you didn't drive drunk.
That doesn't make you an adult. And it doesn't deserve praise.
Congratulations on being employed: You're now just like most other “adults” in America.
Congratulations on munching on some carrot sticks: I've been doing that since I was 3 years old.
Congratulations on realizing your metabolism isn't what it once was: Cheers to good health.
Congratulations on requesting an Uber: I know it's pretty tough.
When did basic life skills turn into Instagram photo ops, Facebook statuses or tweets? When did growing the fuck up become a reason for a hashtag?
There is even an adulting blog, and a book LITERALLY titled, “Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps”.
Does it really require over 400 steps? I could probably come up with 10.
But I'm not going to. I'm not going to come up with 10 or 20 or even 100 steps. And I'm not going to tell you what “adulting” REALLY is – outside of its Urban Dictionary definition – because there's no such thing.
Don't get me wrong; I get that some things really do represent a transition from dependence to independence. They're big steps: things like getting your own apartment or getting your own health and car insurance.
I mean, I felt like a fucking BOSS when I bought my first couch. I felt grown-up as hell in a kitchen full of my very own pots and pans. I don't deny that these things fill you with a sense of self-pride.
But this buzzword makes it all seem like a joke. It makes US seem like a joke.
Our generation is already classified as lazy, ungrateful, entitled, etc. Listen, we all know we aren't any of those things... far from it.
But when we get excited for ourselves (and for each other) when we do simple things like going to the grocery store or changing our sheets, we fulfill the stereotype. When we turn a natural and necessary progression into a way to get attention and praise, we fulfill the stereotype.
And we're better than that.
Instead of hashtagging your way to adulthood, actually do “adult” things.
Read news sources that aren't linked to Facebook. Tell your friends whom you're voting for. Discuss the environment.
Volunteer. Travel. Read a fucking book.
Visit your grandparents (and not just because you want a fat check for Christmas). Eat organically (and not just because it's trendy).
Pay your bills on time. Don't max out your credit card. File your taxes before they're due.
Stay on top of your student loans. Get checked for STDs.
These are the things that deserve praise.
You became an adult the moment you turned 18. Remember? You couldn't wait to tell your parents to "suck it", even though you were still living under their roof, eating their food and living off their phone plan.
You ARE an adult. You've BEEN an adult. Act like it.
Shit, if it helps, substitute “adult” with “productive member of society.” Then tell me what you think “adulting” is.