The law explicitly states that an adult is someone who has reached the age of majority; usually around age 18 to 21 depending on the jurisdiction. Upon that time, a person has the ability to exercise their right to vote, to get married, obtain a driver’s license, drink alcoholic beverages or sign legally binding contracts. But often, in spite this age of majority and our new adult privileges, we don’t always feel like adults much less act like one. So, when exactly do we accept this coming of age?
For years, I have been over 18 and I cannot, for the life of me give up my childish tendencies. I tend to whine like a child, complain like a child, skip to places like a child, grin and make funny faces like a child, hug the elders in my family by wrapping my whole arm around them like a child, and on occasions ask for piggy back rides like a child. For the past 5 years, I’ve been telling my friends that one day I’m going to grow up and accept being an adult. Their response to me usually is, “yea, right!”. Sometimes I wonder when this physical maturity will kick in completely.
After turning 25, and still observing the child in me, I started to become a little worried. Is it possible that I may have inherited my mother’s playful side on a more pronounced level? I unspokenly made a vow to myself that I was going to start acting more like an adult. Since then, I find myself breaking my unspoken covenant time and time again. I told myself that maybe my immature behavior might very well be a part of who I am. In fact, it is me who often cheer myself up with my at times silly, cheery, charismatic and childish personality; and it is this very same personality that cheer up a lot of my at times distressed friends. Upon relinquishing my attempt to break my covenant, I surprised myself the other day.
It was unlike any other day because I made a decision on the spur of the moment, to rent a car. Although I talked to friends about my irrational decision, they said nothing to deter me. Instead, one friend spontaneously agreed to come along for the ride. It left me even more convinced and excited about driving my Nissan Versa 2009 around the city.
For one day, this car was going to be mine. Admittedly, throughout the day, I forgot I had the keys so there were times when I walked to the passenger’s seat forgetting that I was the driver. When I did remember though, I smiled inside. This whole experience gave me a feeling of empowerment and control over my life, something I haven’t really felt before. It was always difficult to see myself in my very own car mainly because I link owning a car with being an adult, and at this point, I still haven’t felt like one. Having the car for one day enabled my mind to mentally visualize myself not just in my own car, but my own house, having my own children- and in essence taking on the responsibilities of adulthood. Balter and Tamis-LeMonda agrees, in their book, (Child psychology: a handbook for contemporary issues), that “responsibility is the key to an adult status because it has such strong connotations of self-sufficiency and self-reliance”.
I suppose becoming an adult is not just having the law acknowledging so, or family members emphatically insisting that you ‘become one!’ Instead, it’s more the amount of adult-like experiences you have. The more your mind is cognitive of doing adult things the more you feel like one. As for me, I’m mentally ready to take on larger ownerships and bigger responsibilities (like my own full-time job and my own Jeep Liberty). Until then, I’ll be well on my way to accepting adulthood.
Categories: Health and Wellness