Last week after our first AP exam, my best friend, Jennifer, and I hung out downtown. We spent more than two hours in the bookstore (where I bought no books but a magnet that reads "yay! Glitter!") and then made our way to the park. We swung on the swings and reminisced about the old, "best swings in the world" they replaced. We went down every slide and talked about all the memories we made tumbling about that same park as children. When rain started to fall, we took refuge in the library where we cowrote a haiku to put on the "poet-tree". It goes as follows:
We may be 18
But we still act like children.
What is adulthood?
Jennifer and I high-fived, proud of our poem that fit the rules of a haiku AND made sense! (Eat your heart out, fourth grade English teacher.)
We parted that day, incredibly happy and with a feeling of weightlessness. That afternoon we didn't mention the classes we still had to finish or the fact that college was a mere 4ish months away. We didn't dwell on the fact that in a few months we'd have to leave each other and everything we knew. We didn't cater to responsibility or the expectations of others. We simply were free, silly and young.
Thinking back on our haiku I honestly couldn't figure out what constitutes someone as an adult. Is it having a steady job and having others wholly depend on you? Is it not laughing at crude jokes and always keeping your cool? Technically, Jennifer and I are legally adults but we don't feel like it. We don't know how to balance check books, I can't cook and Jennifer can't even imagine how to pay taxes. Our moms still buy us food and clothes for the most part. Our hearts are independent but our actions are not. Will there ever come a time that we feel like we belong with the rest of the adults in this world? Will we ever truly know what we're doing? Will anyone?
Growing up is scary, mostly because there's a preconceived notion that you should have everything figured out at all times. But the fact is you don't.
Adulthood is not being sure of every decision you make, it is not doing everything on your own, it is not being fearless. Sometimes I find it easier to identify adulthood by what it's not, but I do know that adulthood is making mistakes, it is asking for help when you need it and it is trying to do better. It is messy and confusing and terrifying and wonderful. It is an ever-evolving state of life that is different for everyone. And that's OK. Not knowing what it is for you is OK. It's all part of the adventure.
Lead image credit: Walt Disney Pictures