On being an adult

I had the occasion to reflect on recent events and consider what it must be like to be an adult. It's certainly got nothing to do with age, but I was feeling different... my face was emotionless, hard perhaps.

I used to think that by the time I'm 21 I would be a fully fledged adult. But it didn't happen. I may have become more mindful over the years since 21 kicked in, but in essence, the light that shines in and through these eyes is a bright today as it was when I looked out over the fence into a orange and purple sunset over Guildford, perhaps the first conscious memory I have as a child that was not driven by fear nor hunger.

So what is it that makes one an adult? If it's not age, and given I'm now 44, what is it?

the cool of white leather... looking for u here...
@ 22 @ 44

When things turn quite serious I then imagine that this is what it must be like to be an adult... stuff that's stressful, anxious... I used to think it was doing your Tax that made one an adult!

Perhaps it's when one loses the trust of one's apparent peers, when there are those that find offence at transperancy and integrity, when one's expertise is questioned and when trust is abused. And I guess there are many other things, but in essence, it's when what one does is no longer fun and it becomes a fight.

But all in all one learns to not take on others bullshit and to be more 'present' and mindful... and thereby, being an adult becomes a more sagely thing than a cause for more concern.

Posted on October 11, 2006


your forgetting something. the broader social context. introduce me to the third person.

Posted by: craig bellamy on October 12, 2006

i'm not actually. just couldn't be bothered writing about it. this is self-reflective. poets are allowed that, no?

Posted by: ag on October 13, 2006

it's just good to grow a thicker skin which can be shed and define when it's law of the jungle or law of the angels, depending on the company...

Posted by: ancient1 on October 16, 2006

i told someone she might stay always the same age, and asked if she'd like that. "i want to be 6," she said. I thought that was funny. "What can you do at 6 that you can't do at 5?" i asked. "I want to reach things," she said.
so growing up is about getting more of what you want? at least some possibilities for it. then there's that other half of being an adult: pushing aside what you really want, or plain forgetting about it, those things you had in mind when you were 5. it all spells confusion.

Posted by: rodg on October 19, 2006

I was just going to send you a hows it going mate? and.. shit!.. that 2nd last para described exactly how its going for me on the current project. I'll be walking out of there with a knife in my back (though not financially at least) and you know what? I will feel rejuvenated for the exerience, once it's over. I'm going to have a whole new appreciation of life-not doing this project.

In general though, growing up is deciding who you really are. But contrary to maxims, old dogs sometimes have to learn new tricks, they just dont want to.


Posted by: babel on October 20, 2006