Adulting: Verb — The process of becoming an adult even when it feels like you’re “All Groan Up” — in-between growing and grown.
Adulting is harder than it looked on the front of the brochure.
As I wrote in 101 Secrets for Your Twenties —
“The biggest surprise about becoming all grown up that no one ever talks about…adulthood…never…stops.
Becoming an emerging adult is a strange, ambiguous web of decisions and events. You know it’s leading you somewhere important, but for years you can’t quite figure out where that “somewhere” is.
Plus, as author Meg Jay so accurately defined – Your 20s are the defining decade of the rest of your life.
So no pressure whatsoever to do adulting right.
What are some signs you’re actually adulting like a boss?
Through my years of research, soul-searching, and asking the fine community here at All Groan Up, here are the 35 funny and serious signs you’re adulting with the best of them.
35 Signs You’re Adulting Like a Boss
1. You can fail without calling yourself a failure.
You realize that your 20s and 30s aren’t about them going as planned. But how you adapt, change, and grow when they don’t.
2. You understand more references made by your 50-year-old co-worker than your 15-year-old niece. – Abby
3. You love listening to NPR. I mean, it’s talk radio! – David
4. You realize now that you are more than the visible outcome of your work. And the outcome of your work might be more than what is currently visible.
5. Even though you’re still looking for a cure for your quarter life crisis, you’re realizing you’d rather experience a quarter life crisis now than find yourself miserable at middle-age because you avoided asking yourself the hard questions in your 20s. You can see now how your character was being built when everything around you felt like it was crumbling.
6. When your first reaction to finding out a friend is pregnant is “Congratulations!!” instead of “Holy &^%$, what happened!!” ~ Kate
7. “You know now that reckless drinking and reckless flirting have a direct correlation. Friends don’t let friends drive, or flirt, drunk.” – 21 Secrets For Your 20s
8. You start cushioning all vacations with an extra day at home for “recovery time.”
9. You’ve stopped trying to “arrive”. You realize that success is your 20s and 30s is more about setting the table than enjoying the feast.
10. You wish you could go back to your teenage self and take back all the time you wasted watching re-runs of shows like Saved by the Bell. Oh scrap that, Saved by the Bell is never a waste of time! No, wait, yes it is. (Sorry, an adulting inner-struggle going on here…)
11. You utilize your Flex Spending Account because you know what that is now. ~ Kendra
12. “How bad you’re going to feel Sunday morning actually factors into your decisions on Saturday night.” – 17 Signs You’re…gasp…an adult
13. You stop feeling so depressed that you don’t have summers off anymore. Yet, as all your teacher friends post their summer vacation photos for three months straight you might cuss a little under your breathe.
14. You’re working hard to eat healthy and avoid gaining the “cubicle cincuenta“, even if your sole motivation is so you don’t have to keep buying new dress pants.
15. You see a young teenage couple making out and want to go all kinds of dad on that punk kid who is trying to get his fresh on.
16. You find yourself raising an eyebrow at popular teenage fashions because… leopard print skinny jeans? Really? – Abby
17. Silence has become this weird, welcomed breather. Doing the dishes becomes your relaxing getaway.
18. You can actually locate your crock pot because you actually use it.
19. You now understand what your parents meant when they said, ‘You’ll understand when you get older.’
20. As you make big life decisions, you’ve become more comfortable with being uncomfortable. You’re able to move forward without 100% certainty how it’s all going to turn out.
21. You’ve stopped waiting for someone else to make things happen for you.
22. You actually enjoy the work part of your work. You feel like you’ve started to own and hone your Signature Sauce — that unique flavor you bring to the world that no one else can.
23. You’ve stopped networking and have started relationshipping — focusing more on what you can do for other people instead of what they can do for you.
24. You realize now that nostalgia is a liar. There were always problems, nostalgia just avoids talking about them. It’s hard to step into your future if you’re obsessed with trying to re-create your past.
25. You don’t look like any of the negative Millennial stereotypes that older generations try to define you with.
26. You’ve stopped thinking a road-trip is going to solve everything.
27. You begin to thank God for all things he did not give you that you used to complain about. As I wrote in my book All Groan Up:
“God saved my life by not giving me all those “big” things I cried out for. No matter how big my temper tantrum. I wanted to carry a big worthy cause when the smallest of loads nearly broke my back. The big probably would’ve killed me. I learned that if you’re not secure with less, you will be crushed by more.”
28. You’re losing hair and gaining babies at an alarming rate.
29. When you finally realize that the world does not actually revolve around you. And that realization actually excites and motivates you.
30. Your fridge stops becoming a place where groceries go to die because you’re actually cooking and eating the food in there.
31. You stop waiting for inspiration, and you start fighting for it. The most inspired thing you can do is keep showing up even when completely uninspired.
32. You have a deep desire to read good books again and keep learning.
33. When you realize you can settle for a season without settling. You can work at your job and work at your side-hustle. Your job feeding you while you work at your dream. And your dream feeding you while you work at your job.
34. Facebook goes from being a hobby, to an obsession, to a chore you dread.
35. You stop being controlled by our generations’ OCD — Obsessive Comparison Disorder. You stop wishing you could live their life and start focusing on how to best live yours.
What did I miss? I’d love to hear from you within the comments in this article signs that you’re adulting like a boss.
Boy am I glad to have stumbled upon your amazing site. I just turned 20 this year, am in my second fieldwork (ojt/internship), and I think I’m having a quarter life crisis. I want to restart the career that I’ve chosen. I mean, I love what my chosen career (occupational therapy) is doing for every people who needs it, it’s just that I do not see myself being that for the rest of my life. I am all for everything that my career has done and is currently doing but I am unhappy being one as I feel that I could not be of real help to patients with my current state of mind and emotions. I’m in the point where nothing and no one, including myself could ever lift my spirit. Even after being bombarded with countless motivational speech by my closest friends and parents, my anger and sadness for myself and life in general remained unscathed. But your quote about showing up impacted me greatly; it gave me hope about what beautiful things await, that all I have to do is to endure, be resilient, and keep on showing up despite zero inspiration, motivation, and will power.
Thanks Bears for the encouragement in return! Honored All Groan Up could be a helpful resource for you as you continue to war for hope.