When I was a kid, like most kids, I thought that being an adult was joyless, full of work, and you wore the inability to have fun like a cape on your back for all to see. Having turned 30 this year, I feel like I am finally a real life, actual adult, and I have learned that while it’s hard to be as excited about everything as I was as a kid, there are still some things that make being an adult A-OK.
I find joy in things I never thought I could as a kid. When I was young, the things that brought me joy either beeped or cost a lot of money. Not only do things that beep or cost a lot of money now scare me, I find joy in the opposite of those two things. One of the best things about being an adult is finding the things that bring you the most happiness don’t cost anything at all.
For me that is family, running and being outside, and playing with my dog. But the things that don’t cost anything aren’t the ONLY things that bring me joy as an adult; I do have a full-time job that doesn’t afford me the luxury of owning a Porsche, but does give me a little extra scrap to spend on this or that. When you’re not an adult, you can’t justify spending an extra dollar for bacon on your burger, but when a waitress says the guac on your burrito is an extra $2, you don’t even flinch (you also saw that coming, Chipotle). But having enough behind you to let your instinct answer and not have to think about it is a good thing.
It’s also fun to realize all the misconceptions you thought about adults isn’t true. I remember being young, and thinking all adult conversations were boring and about work or business or the stock market or newspapers. When you get a little older, you realize there are still fart jokes to be had and most adults in conversations about politics just nod and rehash information that isn’t any deeper than a headline they might have seen on Twitter.
You can go on vacation by yourself. Don’t get me wrong, family vacations are fun, but so are vacations you go on with one person (hey babe!), or maybe just one other couple. You will experience places entirely differently if you don’t have to worry about hiding alcohol in your suitcase or going to Magic Kingdom twice in a week. Now, I get to go to a swanky bar so I can nurse a $8 bottle of Miller Lite for an hour and talk about how much fun it was.
“Do you want to have one more or go somewhere else?”
“Already tabbed out. Let me help you with your coat.”
All in all, being an adult has it’s drawbacks. As much fun as those quiet, cost-less moments are, there are equally as many boring ones where there isn’t anything to watch on TV but Flip or Flop or Wives with Knives. Money is a lot of fun, but bills, budgeting, and not being able to pull the trigger on a pair of running shoes despite the fact that yours have a huge tear in them all aren’t very much fun. But, in the end, and for as much fun as I had when I was younger, I wouldn’t trade where I’m at for anything. Plus, and maybe the best thing about being an adult, is being able to look back at everything you used to do and remember all the great things that led you to where you are today.