The Pain of Adulting

©2015 PurePurpose.org
©2015 PurePurpose.org

I don’t know when adult became a verb, but it’s all over the place. It’s not always #adulting, but the concept is the same:

“Adulting is stupid.”

“I need someone who adults better than I do.”

“The worse decision I made as a teen was to become an adult. Now I’m paying for it the rest of my life.”

I know too many people (of many ages and lifestages) that are overwhelmed or frustrated by adulting. Perhaps there should be a bumper sticker that declares: “You thought childbirth was painful? Try adulting!” Some people look at others and think, “Well, they adult well! Why can’t I have their life?”

None of us have it all together. We need to stop thinking it’s all about becoming an adult, as if there’s a magic age (is it 18? 21? 25? 30?) or milestone (high school graduation? college? marriage? first apartment?) that declares…

YOU ARE NOW AN ADULT. YOU MUST KNOW EVERYTHING, NEVER STRUGGLE, NEVER QUESTION, ALWAYS REMAIN CALM. IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY, YOU ARE ON YOUR OWN. NOTHING HELPFUL WILL MAGICALLY DROP FROM THE CEILING AND HELP YOU BREATHE. GOOD LUCK!

Adulting isn’t an app. It’s not a download. It’s a process. It’s maturity, which is never instant.

Babies are not born full grown (good thing!). Bodies take time to grow and mature. They are constantly changing. Some changes we like; some we don’t.

Maturity is the same. We go through painful growth spurts that make life inconvenient. We long to grow and change when we don’t. We feel stuck. We change in ways we don’t like. We try to control what changes and what doesn’t.

We can fight the process of maturity and loathe it, or we can participate in it and appreciate it.

Maturity takes investment. It takes patience. It takes intentionality. It takes sacrifice, practice, humility, and learning. It includes failures and celebrations.

No adult has it all figured out. Instead of struggling with adulting, let’s just commit to moving forward toward maturity, knowing we won’t ever fully achieve it but we can always grow beyond yesterday.

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