Urban Dictionary defines "adulting" as, "To do grown up things and hold responsibilities, such as a 9-5 job, a mortgage/rent, a car payment or anything else that makes one think of grown ups."
Used in a sentence, it looks like this: "Jane is adulting quite well today, seeing as she's on time for work promptly at 8 am and appears well-groomed."
"Adulting" is a pretty scary thing to most people. Although it's something you'll eventually come to accept, everyone going through this transition in life experiences these seven internal struggles:
1. Am I on the right path in life?
No one really knows the answer to this question. Even if you have moments where you question what you're doing in life, you're still on the right path. Every experience — good or bad — teaches us a lesson.
Unless you have a life-threatening addiction, or you're involved in something illegal, where you are now is exactly where you are supposed to be.
2. Is my SO "the one?"
If you have to ask this question, he or she probably isn't (well, not right now, at least). That doesn't mean you should end things and continue your voyage for the elusive "soulmate," however.
I'm a firm believer that just because you may be unsure now that doesn't mean you won't be later. Every relationship has its ups and downs, but there is no rush — I repeat, there is no rush — to take the next step if you aren't ready.
Staying together out of comfort (and not for emotional connection) no longer works in any shape or form while adulting. You can enjoy each other's company until one (or both) of you decides it's time to move on.
3. Am I making my parents proud?
No matter what you do, whom you become, where you work or whom you love, your parents will always be proud of you. They are required to love you. The problem a lot of people have is doing things in order to make their parents proud.
Don't think about what anyone thinks when reaching toward a goal, especially when it comes to your parents. We all want to make our parents proud, but the thing is, they have been — and will always be — our biggest fans.
4. Am I settling?
The word “settling” can have such a negative connotation that it makes us contemplate our entire existence.
Everybody settles at some point in his or her life; it's just the way it is. When used in this context, it usually means we are restless with the state of our lives. Let's be real: Nowadays, if you have a steady paycheck and a credit score above 600, you've made it.
However, if you are like me and are too stubborn to give up your dream (even while living off hand-me-downs and Ramen Noodles), don't settle. I am not saying quit your job and train to be in the NBA (be realistic), but just don't give up. Taking tiny steps every day will help you reach your goal.
5. Will I ever get out of debt?
Well, I got nothing on this one. I am more than a Negative Nancy about this topic, so all I can say is go talk to a credit counselor. I know I plan to.
6. Will I ever stop experiencing FOMO?
The answer to this question is, yes. You will always experience FOMO, but you're not really missing out on anything. You're just afraid you are. Unless you had to work and your best friend hung out with J-Lo or Michael Jordan while at the concert he or she invited you to, then you aren't missing anything.
So, you won't be involved in an epic beer pong tournament or be there to physically witness your friends and their crazy antics, but at least you were able to get that precious little thing called "sleep." Don't take that for granted. Plus, the best is yet to come, and you will never miss out on the best.
7. Am I too old for this?
If you have to ask yourself this question, then yes. Yes, you are. When adulting, you are too old for just about everything you used to do in the days of your ~youth~. (At least that's how it feels.) Unfortunately, we elders can't do what we did in college anymore.
We can't sleep until 3, wear dirty clothes and pretend it's some kind of liberating movement or not go to class because “we're paying for it." We have to wake up early, go to work and look nice in order to be able to earn money and pay for things. There aren't really any excuses while adulting. On the bright side, we can rent a car and buy alcohol.
This is the real world, y'all. Adulting isn't all rainbows and butterflies, but it has its perks. You can't go back in time, so make the best of the present.
What makes me an expert? Absolutely nothing besides the fact I am struggling with adulting as well.
It's OK to have fun and set the adult in you aside for a few hours. Wear a crop top, drink on a Tuesday and take a vacation. Just remember your cable bill is due on the 15th.