The hardest part of becoming an adult


When people talk about adulting, they usually are referring to doing grown-up, responsible-type things: paying bills, having a conversation with your boss about quitting instead of running away, doing taxes, cooking healthy meals for the week. Stuff like that.

I think there is a much greater challenge to being an adult: as your major life questions settle down, there are no updates to share.

When I see friends and we ask each other what's going on in our lives, it's always met with some version of a shrug and "I don't know, same old, I guess?"

It's not even that we have boring lives! We see plays! We read interesting books! We go out on weeknights! We have creative projects! We climb mountains! We have challenging careers! We do things that should be interesting to discuss, except that we've been doing these things for a while, so they aren't particularly newsworthy anymore.

When nothing major has changed in your life for some time (same job, same home, same relationship status, same education, no recent or upcoming travel), then what the heck are you supposed to talk about? What is there to "catch up on"?

This is the long, slow drudgery of being an adult, isn't it? This is why people have mid-life crises: because there isn't an answer to "what's new?" anymore!

This has got to stop. Either I need to start doing a bunch of brand new things, or I need to start considering the things in my life to be more interesting and worthy of sharing.

In the interest of time, let's start with the second idea. Here are some potential life updates I could share that are real and current:

Friend: "Hey, what's new?"

Me: "This morning I had a really delicious cup of tea while I was writing. It just all came together perfectly, you know? I may spend the rest of my life trying to replicate that tea."

Me: "Essex and I got all our chores done last night in record time. The place is clean! It's so nice."

Me: "I watched a Facebook Live session yesterday at work for a new grant we're thinking about applying for, but it still made no sense. They want to give money to projects that promote a 'digital mindset' in the sector at large. What the heck is that?"

Me: "It's the Fringe Festival! Last weekend I saw five shows, and I've got three more to go. So far only one was really fantastic, but this other one, Slumber Here, was so enchanting and inventive that everyone should experience it."

Me: "My parents are going to Italy, and so I'm going to have their car for three weeks. How often do you think I'll be lazy and drive instead of biking? I'm hoping to keep it under 50% of the time."

Me: "I just started reading a new book called A Darker Shade of Magic. It seems really good! My only complaint so far is that we've met three characters so far and they're all male. Maybe there should be a Bechdel Test for books."

Me: "I saw some actor friends on iZombie last night! That's always fun."

Here's the problem: it took me waaaaaaaay too long to come up with those answers, even the really lame ones. I had to look at my calendar for reminders on what the heck is happening in my life.

Maybe THAT'S the real issue. It's not that my life is boring (although, when the first exciting thing you think of in your life is a good cup of tea...), it's that I don't REMEMBER things.

Okay, so I haven't solved my problem, but I've altered it. Thanks? I guess?


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