Being an adult has many unpleasant complications: bills, jobs, taxes, housing, and more responsibilities in general. But there can be so much joy.
When I was 18, I thought I could rule the world. I was an adult, raised with confidence in my own abilities. I knew what there was to know about the world and damn it, I was going to do something about it. I could vote and commit my life to a cause, but I didn’t really know jack shit. This is the point in time in which I started to discover my identities, started to differentiate myself from what I grew up with.
When I was 21, I had had some experience with college and the world. I was gaining theoretical knowledge, but not much in the way of practical knowledge (some, because I had to learn to live with other adults who didn’t have any relationship power over me). I was starting to be able to make decisions that were different than my parents might have made and be able to justify them. I thought, this is what it means to be an adult, how can there be any more?
Age 25: Life throws me a bit of a curveball in the form of Minx’s death. How can I go on, when this joy in my life is gone? How can I grow on? How will I ever fall in love again? This is the big differentiating moment in my adult life. Who do I become after this? So, I gave myself time. I gave a lot to myself so I could heal, and I think that makes me more of an adult than a lot of people older than that.
Age 28 (current): It turns out, love is a big part of my recovery. But not romantic love. The love of my friends and family gave me strength to grow. Falling in love a couple times helped remind me that yes, I can fall in love again.
But now, I am enjoying being an adult. It’s only taken me a decade. I love falling in love, fucking, voting, drinking, getting high, dealing with my own medical decisions, and actually finding joy in the long term planning for my future, with the people I have chosen. I never could have imagined this at 18, but I think I may have finally reached adulthood, and this gives me great joy.