I remember the first time I really felt like an adult – like, the adultiest adult. Right after college me and a friend decided to get an apartment together. We went to go see a lot of them – some hole in the walls, some nice ones we clearly couldn’t afford. Eventually we found it – an awesome apartment in the city – and decided to put our names on the lease. This was it – I had my name on a lease, I was going to be responsible for bills, and grocery shopping, furniture, cleaning, and minor repairs and….this is where the slight hyperventilation kicked in. The day I moved in I sat in my bedroom and called my mom in tears – asking her to validate my adultness.
Since that time I’ve done many more things people deem “adulting” which seems to encompass financial responsibilities and all the things people don’t super want to do, pay bills, go to work, etc. While all that is what grown folks do – I’ve come to realize that is not all there is to this grow-up life. Adulting, true adulting, is so much more and so much more meaningful. True adulting is life changing.
My husband has this question he asks our teens (the teens in our youth ministry…not our teens. We ain’t got no kids. Yes… ain’t got no…) to consider this question: What would 10 years from now you thank you for doing now? Think of who you want to be then – what would they thank you for doing/starting 10 years ago that led them to this place?
That is true adulting. Answering that question and then acting on it.
Do you want to be in a healthy marriage 10 years from now? Imagine it. Now, what does that person in that marriage need you to stop or start doing today so that they can exist?
Do you want a healthy relationship with God? What disciplines can you put in your life now so that you can be in that space at that time?
Life either happens by design or by accident. And if you are counting on accidentally falling into a healthy and intentional life, well… it’s as unlikely as it sounds.
I remember being in a place where I was tired of some of the things in life that did not serve me. I had to make decisions to date differently and actually live by that decision. I had to decide that my spiritual health was important enough to do what I needed to engage with my church, prayer, and study life. Daily there are opportunities to check in with our lives.
Adulting is making the decisions that will truly affect your future. Not the comfortable ones. Not the ones you have been making that have kept you in the place you are now. Not what you are used to.
The decisions that are difficult. The decisions that require you to step into new territory. The decisions that require you to do things differently. To do relationships differently. To engage your faith differently without the approval of popular culture or your peer group – especially if they are not into this form of adulting at the moment.
Adulting is making the decision to grow & acting accordingly and being disciplined in doing so – even when your feelings are fighting you on it. Also, bills – cuz those never go away.