How did I end up in the midst of this thing called Adulthood? It seems like only yesterday that I was round a friend’s house, raising a glass of champagne to the start of adult life (the poignant sophistication marred only slightly by said bottle exploding all over the kitchen before I’d had a chance to pour it). There I am, clear as day in my mind’s eye, eagerly toasting my bright and prosperous future.
Fast forward a few months and I was crawling back through the door clutching a family size [possibly not the right term] bottle of vodka.
It used to all be so easy. ‘Adult’ was a title automatically granted to anyone plucky enough to have survived past their 18th or 21st birthday. If you turned up still breathing on the day, you’d be welcomed into the adult community with open arms.
But now ‘adult’ is no longer a guaranteed noun to be taped to your forehead forever more. It has shifted into verb territory. ‘Adulting’: something that can be done well or otherwise [I adult, you adult, he/she/it adults; Yesterday I adulted like a pro but today I can’t really be bothered.’]
Things that count as successful adulting in my house include remembering to put the bins out, getting up early enough to shower before work and making a balanced meal from scratch. You can only imagine how giddy I felt when I opened a Help to Buy ISA.
Indeed, when initially embarking upon this post I had intended for it to be a list of handy hints to smooth the transition between life’s two great hoods: child and adult. But, frankly, as I was sifting through the crevices of a hungover mind to find a golden nugget or two worth sharing, I realised how unqualified I am to start doling out life lessons. If you stock up on Lemsip before getting a cold and wash all your clothes together at 30, I’ve taught you everything I know.
Back to me and the vodka. I guess you could say that adult life hasn’t been quite what I thought it would be. There’s been a heftier slice of failure and me generally looking like a bumbling fool than I’d originally bargained for (something my friends and colleagues assure me I will be grateful for further down the line – I’ll keep you posted). But let’s be honest now: despite the odd daily setback, it’s also been a period of unparalleled excitement and freedom. It’s the little things that stack up to make you feel on top: choosing when and what to eat for dinner, filling my calendar with time with friends and family (by choice!) and, ultimately, only being answerable to myself – and where I’m concerned, I’m inclined to be very, very lenient.
So yes, sometimes the only way to conclude the day is by lying on the carpet and yelling ‘Why?!’ to anyone who will listen. But at the end of the day I rent that portion of carpet with my own hard graft, and I’m pretty sure that makes me an adult.