“Adulting” gets a bad rap. And it’s not hard to understand why. Gone are the days of all-night parties and weekday binge drinking, because you know…you’re supposed to be a responsible, fully functioning member of society, who can’t be seen nursing a nasty hangover in office on a Wednesday morning. Gone are the days of watching TV series late into the night…because between learning to unsuccessfully juggle your job and your social life, you’re just coming to realize the importance of sleep. Gone are the days of dreaming about your grand start-up idea…because while a levitating bean-bag with a built-in joint-rolling apparatus sounds cool, it’s not going to put money in your bank account (might put you in jail, tbh. Still, I’d totally buy one of those). Uninteresting jobs to drag ourselves to, uncompromising landlords to prostrate before, unforgiving bills to be paid like clockwork, and an unfulfilling dating life to be had. To quote Monica from Friends, “Welcome to the real world. It sucks.”
Around 80% of the people reading this article will have related to that quote, going so far as to actually remember the actual scene from Friends (when Monica delivers the line to a forlorn Rachel, who’s just cut up her dad’s credit cards). And you’re now smiling at the memory, because like most people between the ages of 15-30 at this moment, you grew up on a steady diet of Friends, and How I Met Your Mother. And if American sitcoms are a part of our lives, then these two are the rite of passage. They’re the go-to series for when you’re down, lonely, happy, or elated. It’s the reminder that even if no one told you that it was going to be this way, it’ll turn out fine if you just tune into the vapid, purposeless and altogether ridiculously fabricated lives of a bunch of unrealistic New Yorkers, just to escape the cloud of misery that your own life seems to have turned into.
And that was the hope that we clung on to. That one day, we’d maybe get our job sorted, like Ross (anger management and sandwich-theivery aside); or that maybe we’d become absolute chick magnets like Joey or Barney; or that we’d someday be as madly interesting to talk to as Phoebe, and that maybe one day we’d find true love, like all these people seem to be doing by the end of 9-10 stretched out seasons.
Utter, utter stupidity. True story.
Whilst in the middle of stewing in our own cauldron of these nonsensical dreams, and some serious character projection to the point where it seems like a mass mental disorder(Experiment: talk to any quiet guy, he’ll be convinced he’s exactly like Chandler. Has a wit that he can’t/doesn’t express, people think he’s weird, and he’s hopelessly in love with a girl he’s friends with, but hasn’t got the nerve to tell her), we forget to do something. Something important.
We forget to actually act like adults.
“Adulting” is a bit like riding a bicycle. You don’t just get on it and pedal your way into the Tour de France in a yellow jersey. You work at it, you suck at it, you practice, and eventually you learn. But no, we’re all busy being “millennials” and contracting “wanderlust” and honing our “sapiosexuality” (the truly perceptive of my good readers may have spotted the sarcastic air-quotes). We don’t spend enough time actually doing our 80C tax-deductible investments, and finding out reasonably priced canteens for midday meals. We instead sip expensive Mocha Frappuccinos, then crib about being broke and share edgy memes that say “Who let me adult? I can’t adult!”…Tell you something, try sucking it up and doing it. It’s fantastic. Being a sorted, responsible adult is actually an amazing and wonderfully liberating feeling. It’s the feeling you get when all your laundry is done before the weekend; when all your bills are paid in the first 3 days of the month; when all your investments are tax-deductible and earning good returns; when all your gang go to a bar, drink just enough for a happy high and drive home responsibly… It’s a feeling of power, contentment, control and authority. And there’s nothing quite like it.
But most of all, you know when you’ve become a full-fledged capable adult? It’s that little epiphany you’ll have when you’re watching these sitcoms. It’s when you realize that Ted was a colossal idiot, that Marshall and Lily were the most ridiculously impractical couple in the world, that Barney was the sad husk of a man emptily searching for meaning (although, he was pretty awesome while doing so). And, that you in your own little life are doing so much better than these on-screen jackasses ever did. That…that moment is your awakening. That is when you know that you’re here.
You’ve arrived. Welcome to adulthood. The real one.
P.S: Happened to me 15 minutes ago. Hence the long spiel.
P.P.S: Reading back, this reads suspiciously like sub-standard content that mistakenly got published because of a drunk ScoopWhoop editor.