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You are not an adult

by Kene Ezeaputa 8 months ago in advice
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Coming of age essay

You are not an adult
Photo by Jamie O’Sullivan on Unsplash

You're not an adult

In the fall of 2021, I turned 18, initially I was excited that a world of opportunities had been opened up to me. I remember cracking a few jokes about adulthood and questioning my plan for this new life but, what I failed to realize is you don't wake up one day and become an adult despite this being semi-obvious no one told me. This had dread effects, I noticed more so than before I was in a rush to prove myself; to forget about my journey and focus on the destination. In the six months since I've been “an adult” I've gone from trying to be a YouTuber to a writer to trying to get my driver’s license to trying to get a real estate license to become a reader to start learning calculus. All of this, I now realized was to compensate for what I thought I should be m. I called this the adult fallacy or the title fallacy that once you have a title you become something different. Personally, I've seen positive and negative effects from this; I've seen friends get jobs, start working out and taking responsibility. But I've also seen people get into questionable relationships, get questionable tattoos, and start drugs like weed and alcohol. It's unfortunate that the biggest decision most of us will make in our teen years is happening right now with college I worry people are rushing to fit the mold of what an adult should be being at 18-22 without understanding the implications for their long-term success.

What does it mean to be an adult?

To me being an adult is being integrated emotionally, spiritually, intellectually, financially, and interpersonally. I'm sure you noticed two things;1) this is a lot; of course, would it be better if the bar for being an adult was low? 2) how do you measure this? You don't need an absolute measurement, like up standardized test because these are all deeply personal you need to measure success as an improvement on a relative basis. Am I better than I was last month? last year?

By Alex Kotliarskyi on Unsplash

Is being a kid such a bad thing?

Earlier this week I saw a video by Gary Vee saying he’d traded all his money to be 18 again he continued to say that at age 42 he is still a kid. That's the mindset we need to adopt; the world would be a better place if we didn't neglect our inner child. What if we started playing again, started drawing without comparison, danced in the rain, what if we were willing to take a step back to move forward. What could we be if we looked up at the stars, at the complexity of it all, and started dreaming again? The most important question is can we get back to living in the moment, focusing on being practicing being process-driven instead of destination-driven.

Pablo Picasso once said "Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up", the same is true for being a kid.

Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once we grow up - Pablo Picasso

By Sigmund on Unsplash

In a world where we are living longer than ever, we are in more of a rush to be deemed "successful"; this is counterintuitive. It is a symptom of our time and asking ourselves why we rush it is at the core of the cure. As a wise woman once said

Everyday we're one day closer to death. There's no reason to rush toward it - Susan Beth Pfeffer

In parting I'll leave you with one last question

When did you grow up?

With sincerity and gratitude

Your friend

Kene Ezeaputa


About the author

Kene Ezeaputa

Trying to do my best

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