How To Adult.

It has come to my attention lately, that despite evidence pointing to the obvious, many of us are forgetting how to adult. Look, between you and me, being a grownup is possibly one of the worst decisions I have ever made, but I made it, and now I’m stuck with it, and so are you.

Before we begin, I think it’s only fair to establish if you are indeed an adult. I obviously don’t want to waste your time if you are not. If you agree with 4 or more of the statements below, then I’m terribly sorry to break it to you, but you are a grown up person. A real human being so to speak:

  • You are reading this on one of the following devices: A work computer or a phone that you pay the bills for. Extra points if someone has printed this out for you to read, as that implies you are ‘BC’ (before computer) and means you are older, and therefore have more adult in you.
  • You were born after 1994. Again, extra points for those that could do the maths and work out that this makes you 21 or more.
  • When you go out to bars and pubs you immediately assume that the child next to you is 14, and consider asking them if their parents know they are out this late!?, when in fact they are 23.

  • You pay tax, earn a salary and have a job which requires you to be present 5 days or 40 hours a week.
  • You know what the word retromingent means*. (Jokes, this was a silly interjection to provide some light hearted comic relief as you slowly make your way down the list and realise you are in fact fucked an adult)
  • You sob quietly into your pillow in the last week of every month as you debate whether to spend your last R500 on toilet paper and cleaning supplies, anti-scurvy inducing food or three quarters of your DSTV bill.

Excellent. Hello grownup. We need to chat.

Now that we have established that you are very much in the adult years of your life, it’s time to get serious. Below are the 8 most important things one needs to do in order to adult. Some may scare you, others may overwhelm you, but rest assured that atleast there will always be wine to help console you (another perk of being said adult).

1. Don’t be late. There’s nothing more rude than that person who is always late – be it to meetings, weddings, get togethers or any other planned event. It may come as a surprise that when people put a time on an invitation, it’s not a suggestion, its a statement.

2. Get a diary. Fill it in with all the things you have to do in your busy life. You will find this tremendously helpful when it comes to planning your life. It also really helps with not being late.

3. Embrace your vowels. If you cannot feel the need to embrace the A, E, I,O and U’s given to you, then I feel you owe the alphabet an apology letter. If this proves too much of a challenge then you must hang up your adult hat with immediate effect and sign up to Mxit. There you shall find many a like minded teen all too willing to ‘BRB” and ‘Chat wif’ u’.

4. Reply to communications promptly and efficiently. If you own a phone, keep it on you and try and check it several times a day. We are getting older now friends, death is imminent, you need to be available in times of emergency.

5. If you cannot afford to insure it, don’t buy it.

6. Own up and own it. Listen, we all make mistakes. I make more than the average person, but being a grownup means having the balls to admit when you’ve cocked up. So acknowledge your mistakes and move on from it.

7. Be empathetic. It’s bloody hard to remain soft in this hard world we live in. We are faced daily with the world and its problems, and at times it feels like everyone just wants our pound of flesh. I get you. Try not to let this deaden you to the needs and situations of others. Everyone is fighting a different battle, and sometimes we need to put down our own guns to realise this.

8. The world is not out to get you. I find everyone around me is so defensive and angry at the moment. That traffic light that just went off on your way home from work – not aimed at you. The store that just ran out of your favourite yoghurt – not aimed at you. The job you didn’t get, the colleague who let you down again, the friend who forgot your birthday – all not aimed at you. (If you get punched directly in the face though, then sorry, but that was most definitely aimed at you).

If all the above sounds horribly depressing, then let’s take a quick look at the 5 best things about being an adult:

1. You can go potty all by yourself. Who’s a big boy now hey?

2. You make the decisions that affect everything about your life.

3. You get to choose what you do and who you do it with.

4. You get to make money and then spend it on whatever you want (just remember the toilet paper and non-scurvy inducing food)

5. You are responsible for every action you make, and for the future of the children you bring into this world (until they too learn to adult).

Now isn’t that the most wonderful and terrifying thought?

** Retromingent: The ability to urinate backwards. “Wow Dad, look at that shiny hippo and his retromingent skills!”

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