can we ask you guys for a favor? we’ve recently launched a facebook page and would love for you to like us over there: facebook.com/ournextlife. so far we have all of two likes, and would love to boost that up a smidge! :-) if you’re feeling the social media love, you can also follow us on twitter, and follow us on instagram. as you may have also noticed, we’ve revamped our site, which we’re pretty stoked about. it’s very much a diy effort, but we finally took the time to make ourselves a proper logo, instead the free canva one we had before, and spent a lot more time choosing a template (we considered paying for one, but were 90 percent happy with wordpress’s gazette theme, so decided to save our money, at least for now). but since it’s a diy effort, we know there are things we could still improve, and we’d love your feedback! please share any thoughts you have in the comments. now back to our regularly scheduled programming…
let’s start today with a question: do you feel like a grown-up?
if you’d asked us that question a year ago, we would have said no. in fact, it was a guiding a principle of our lives that most people never grow up, they just learn to fake it. this realization was enormously comforting to us, as it meant we had less to prove at work especially, since we figured out that most of our seniors and managers were just making it up as they went along. but this feeling of not being grown-ups persisted even through multiple home purchases, sizeable net worth accumulation, and many career promotions, including the ones that gave us our current highfalutin titles. really, we just felt like kids with assets.
but recently, we realized that something has changed. we can’t put our fingers on exactly when it happened, but somehow, we started to feel like grown-ups.
this is not a sad feeling – we don’t feel as though we’ve lost our youth or anything – nor one of resignation. if anything, it’s kind of a relief. “ohhhhhhh, so people really do grow up!” it’s like the other shoe has dropped, and we didn’t know that we were actually waiting for that all along. well the waiting is now over, and we’re fully embracing our lives as self-acknowledged grown-ups.
here’s what this does not mean: it does not mean giving up our spirit of youthful curiosity. it does not mean avoiding all youthful indiscretion. it does not mean that we are fully formed humans, and are done changing and growing. it does not mean we have all the answers. and, we sure hope it doesn’t mean we’re set in our ways. it also doesn’t mean that we see others who don’t identify as grown-ups as any less adult. (after all, it took us til age 35+ to get here!)
but it does mean lots of wonderful things: that we accept ourselves for who we are. that we know what we’re doing in our lives and finances, and we’re not embarrassed to admit it. that we know what’s truly important to us, and don’t need to waste time on everything else. that we’ve let go of our youthful egos and pride, and we can now admit when we don’t know something, and stop trying to pretend to be cool. (let’s be honest – we were never cool.) ;-) it means we can embrace that squareness and not let it hold us back from enjoying activities with the cool kids, like dancing at music festivals, even if we’ll never be like them.
as for when it happened, it’s hard to say. we’ve had some big things happen in the last year-plus, including losing some close family members, losing two beloved dogs, helping both sets of parents make very challenging, downsizing moves, and taking on a lot more responsibility at work. but it doesn’t feel like becoming grown-ups grew out of loss or hardship — that being grown-ups means we’re damaged or beaten down in some way — though maybe we’re wrong about that. in any case, it’s not something we’re mourning.
of course, in reality, this doesn’t change anything. we still do the same things, embrace the same spirit of adventure, and look forward to an early retirement full of play and fun. we’ll still laugh at farts, and make up ridiculous nicknames for our dogs. the difference is merely in how we approach challenges. (and, okay, we might also scoff now if anyone calls us “young people.”) we’d love to stay young forever, but we also love this stage in our lives, and think the best is yet to come.
so how about you? do you feel like a grown-up? what do you think helped make the transition? (we suspect having kids does it for a lot of people, though we don’t know because we don’t have them.) or if you don’t feel like a grown-up, do you think you ever will?