We're All Just Making It Up
fourth year, myah paden
Three observations: one, I heard that my best friend’s mom was joining a women’s-adult-paranormal-fantasy-book-club because she realized at age forty-five, she’s never made any real friends, but she wanted to try. Two, I pay my own bills, yet my dad said I’m not “allowed” to get another tattoo without his “permission”. Three, when I was in the fifth grade, my parents could no longer help me with my math homework.
Conclusion: Adulthood is a myth.
Since I’ve been in college, I have been deemed a “young adult,” which is what people over age thirty-five like to call anyone who files their own taxes, but still buys store-brand toilet paper for poor, not thrifty, reasons. This oxymoron is what gives my mom the ability to chastise me about the cleanliness of the apartment I pay for and discuss tax season in the same phone call. It is also in this liminal space of youth and growth I can be expected to show up to my job and be a professional yet still indulge in the joys of downtown bar marathons, wearing fuzzy socks as normal socks, and late night netflix binging on a regular basis without judgement. Who decides when I become a “real” adult, and is the criteria based on wisdom or age?
When I was in elementary school, I thought everyone over age eighteen had “made it.” I dreamed throughout my teenage years of the independence that would come with graduation: no more chores, abounding freedom, and I would suddenly be hip to the knowledge necessary for adult life. However, now that I can see that my parents and their fellow “real” adults are still searching for answers themselves, I think I’m okay.