this lost girl wants to know, what is a grown up anyways?

As I turned 30 recently, this question has been surfacing a lot in my mind when I discuss with others this concept of being ‘grown up’ or an ‘adult’. I constantly see people hash-tagging their photos with #adulting and/or #grownup, on pictures of new houses (whether it’s the house itself, or the for sale sign, new keys, etc), marriages, babies, etc. You know the pictures I am talking about, all those milestones in life we use to define being ‘grown up’.

Then I reflect back on my own life and sometimes I feel like a defective model, that I was put together imperfectly, somehow slightly different than the rest. But then I remember, I was not created on an assembly line; I created myself through the experiences I’ve had and the way in which I choose to live my life. My life, my choice. Defective or not, doesn’t make me any less happy about the person I’ve become thus far. This is me, the real me; even if it’s just the me right now. I am still learning. Still experiencing. Constantly changing. Constantly evolving. Never a grown up, cause I am always growing.

And that’s the kicker isn’t it? How can we expect people to ‘grow up’, if we are in a constant state of growing. And we are always telling kids to ‘grow up’, especially teenagers. “Why can’t you just grow up?”. But what does that mean? Once we are ‘grown up’, is that it? Do we stop growing? Are we not constantly changing, evolving, and growing throughout our entire lives? So how can we grow up? It makes it sound like an end destination, once you get to it, that’s it, you’re done. And I don’t know about you but that sounds pretty boring to me.

I need a life of constant change, hence why I am constantly uprooting myself in search for new places to explore, new experiences to have, new sights to see. Through these experiences, I am in a constant state of change, allowing my life to follow whatever path I choose that day. Just cause yesterday I may have wanted life to go a certain way, doesn’t mean today I have to want the same thing. Just because over a year ago I was content with being on my own, and traveling solo, and living a truly solivagant life, doesn’t mean I can’t fall in love and be happy sharing this ‘solivagant’ life with someone else. What do words mean, but whatever we chose for them to mean in the context of our own lives?

But I digress, the words I am truly interested in writing about is ‘grown-up’. When I look up the definition it is defined as ‘fully grown’. So I guess, you can say I have peter pan syndrome, I don’t want to grow up, because if being grown-up means I stop growing, count me out. Hey lost boys, you have room for a lost girl in your squad?

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32 thoughts on “this lost girl wants to know, what is a grown up anyways?

  1. This is awesome! I love that quote you’ve defined yourself. Youre right – we are constantly growing! I think grown up is just used to define a ~phrase~ in life. Just as any other phrase like childhood, or teenage years. But youre right. It’s not an end point. So go us who keeps challenging ourselves!

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  2. I love this! I’ve somehow reached the age where everyone around me are buying houses or getting married and I just have no interest for that right now. I’m in my late 20s and I can’t get my head round the idea of settling. So instead I’ve got a one way ticket to Australia haha!

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    1. Yes! Thats’ awesome! And there’s nothing wrong with that. We all have our own paths. No one way is the right way. All you can do is what makes you happy! Where in Australia are you headed? I lived on the Sunshine Coast for a year and loved it!

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      1. Definitely! I’m flying into Brisbane and gonna try and find farm work asap, travel to wherever that will be and that’s as far as I’ve got! I just want to go everywhere while I’m there. I’ve travelled the east coast for a month before and just loved it. The Sunshine Coast is lush! Any tips for living in Australia?

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  3. Loved reading this. I’m in my early 30s and also feel the same. Love the part where you say you’re not born in an assembly line – because it’s true. We’re all special individuals who have the right to be who and what we want to be, and who will always be shaped by our experiences 🙂

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  4. Yes! I love your point of view! It almost scares me to use the term “grown-up”. It feels like a very inflexible state, although we all change all the time and keep learning every day.

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  5. I totally agree with this! I never want to stop growing, learning, and evolving as a person. I’m 25 now and loving living a nomadic life! I think I’ll eventually want to settle down a little more than I am now, but I’m never going to stop travelling and having as many adventures as possible. Great post 🙂

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  6. This is amazing! I’m turning 25 this year and I’m definitely having that “quarterly mid-life crisis”. Suddenly everything I did wasn’t enough. My peers at this point all had stable jobs, married and some even having kids. We even joked around like, how do you even adult?

    It’s true that life is a never ending growing phase. At the end of the day we just have to remember that this is our own race, you just do you. I still don’t know what to do with my life though, but hey you just keep going right?

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  7. LOL! I definitely identify with this. I’m in my 30’s and by some people’s definition of grown up, I’ve “regressed” by quitting my desk job, selling my house/belongings, and moving to Berlin on my own. I wouldn’t trade away my new life for the world. ❤

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  8. Totally relate! I think like so many :).

    I wonder if I will ever “grow up”. I am officially homeless, jobless and basically trying to start something for myself. How long will this take? No idea, but in comparison with some of my friends I am completely not “adulting” haha. But I really agree with you.

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  9. I relate so much, I am constantly bombarded on social media with people my age getting married and having kids and my parents wanting the same for me and such because you hear the “I was married at your age and having a child!”

    I am 24 and plan to stay child like and I am having my 25th this year in Disneyworld, I had someone belittle me about it but I don’t care, I would rather be happy and child like.

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  10. I love this! I totally agree, too. I’m 25 and definitely don’t want to do the whole buying a house and having kids thing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that! My partner and I just want to travel for as long as we can! 😀

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  11. This post was so refreshing to read. I’m at that stage where my friends are settling down, career-focused, buying houses, etc, and I’m feeling sometimes like I’m doing the wrong thing by not following suit. But I guess I’m doing my own “adulting,” by travelling, learning & overcoming my fears!

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  12. Love this so much. My parents always tease that I have “peter pan syndrome” so I can totally relate. We are living unconventional lives, but as long as we are happy… more power to us. You do you, girl.

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  13. Loved it. I’m 42 and certainly not a grown up and I suck at adulting big time. I identify with what you said about needing change and uprooting yourself frequently. I do the same! The older you get, the more you tend to deviate from the norm if you’re doing these things. I’m defective and proud!!

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  14. Defo keep doing you. There’s nothing worse than conforming to the ‘norm’ and compromising yourself as a person and what you believe! I’ve made a lot of tough ‘adult’ decisions in the past year or so and it’s involved some sacrifices elsewhere but it’s my own decision and i’m learning the only way i know how!

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  15. I’ve been in the middle of this dilemma for a while. Sadly it often feels like you are the only person who is concerned about it. It felt really good to read your take. I don’t have so many of the milestones (that are socially acceptable!) ticked off on my list. I do have a number of countries that I have visited and experiences that I have gained. Does that make me a misfit? In my view it makes me happy!

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