Adulting is hard, and we all have to do it. Nothing can really prepare us for being on our own, though, and life's lessons often fall on our heads like a ton of bricks.
Wakizeki asked: What part of being an adult were you absolutely not prepared for?
Submissions have been edited for clarity, context, and profanity.
*Gestues vaguely at everything."
This is literally the most relatable comment in the thread.
As an adult, I urge you to explain to me because I was just wooshed.
Alright so in my particular case, I'm 23 and I am a month into an internship of which my degree provide very little practical training for, in a foreign country where I don't speak the native language, and about 3/4 into a bottle of wine at the moment. I surprise myself on my willingness to keep going to be honest.
That. Right there.
Control is an illusion.
The fact that life can just change. Not gradually, and not with someone like a parent helping you through it. Just come to an abrupt halt and shoot off in another direction.
For years I've been freelancing as an artist; doing children's books, animating for video games, all sorts of stuff. Then my partner and I have a kid, sure it shakes things up a bit but while he's in school I can still work on that stuff while my partner works.
Then five months ago she has a stroke. And now she's blind. She can't work, and neither can I because I'm at home full time either caring for her or our son or both. I don't have time to hang with friends anymore as I need to organise a carer to come over when I'm out and after-hours on a weekend is prohibitively expensive ($100+ per hour).
Government Medicare gives us almost enough money for rent, and the only reason we're still eating is through the generosity of friends and the fact that my partner had her bank account automatically shave some money off her pay to put into her savings.
But there's no going back. Her sight is gone. For good. And her mobility is shot as well. So we're looking at me being full time care for at least a few years. If not longer.
The worst part is I don't feel like I can complain. Because at least I can still see.
This is my big fear. That a health issue will come along and completely "derail the train" of working every day, making money, keeping our home, sending our kids to college, etc. Kudos to you for caring for your partner.
You will outgrow people and people will outgrow you.
Your path to independence is filled with a loss of people. There are people you sincerely care about that will just disappear because of distance and growth in different directions. When I was a kid, I was afraid of losing everyone to death just because that was such a set out end. Now, I'd say the older people in my life that I've maintained friendships kinda just sail off into the sunset and its a good final resolution.
People my age though, it just sometimes feels like whatever connection we had became meaningless overnight. You can contact them all you want, try to fight for it as you can, but that's gone.
All of a sudden, you're grown up.
How quickly it happened.
I am turning 27 this year. And I know that doesn't seem that old to many people, but in my head I'm honestly still about 19. Except my body doesn't feel like 19, it feels at least 119 😒 it just seems to have flown by.
You know, I'm 28 and when I graduated college and entered the workforce I felt like a little kid. 5 years in the workforce and I still felt like a 20 year old college kid. Then I got divorced. It's probably the worst thing that's ever happened to me, and really all of 2018 was me experiencing a sustained mental crisis about it.
And now abruptly, I feel like I'm 35.
Edit: I appreciate all the replies and the gold. To be clear, I don't necessarily think feeling 35 is 'bad'. It's more like a terrible time in my life bootstrapped me from child to man in the span of a year.
It's a hard paradox to swallow. I daily wish that relationship hadn't failed, but I also recognize that if it hadnt I wouldn't have grown and would be the same person who allowed it to fail.
Hate your job? You're not alone.
Having a job I don't like but can't quit because it pays well and wouldn't be able to get the schedule and paid leave anywhere else.
I always assumed all grownups had jobs they loved, found out what they wanted to be and lived happily ever after.
This is me right now. I like my job. I don't like my company. To have my job at another company would cost too much in daycare due to being a current remote worker with a flexible schedule, and similar jobs being in a farther metro downtown area.
In college also. Had a realization couple weeks ago that I don't necessarily need to love my job. I need it to not come home with me. Changing majors to something that won't be a mental burden when I'm at home.
How to have good bowel movements.
Paying attention to what makes "healthy" poops.
I wish someone had taught me this years ago.
Cries in IBS.
Friends will come and go. Adulting can be lonely.
Having all my close friends slowly drift apart.
Yeah, this... all those board games collecting dust.
Tonight's no good how about Wednesday? Oh you're in Houston on Wednesday? Well then let's just not see each other for 8 months and it doesn't matter at all.
Edit// why thanks guys but credit goes to John Mulaney.
The perils of living alone.
The first time I got an ear infection so bad that it gave me vertigo. I made it to the bathroom before I threw up but missed the toilet, and I couldn't just crawl back into bed and sleep it off. I had to clean it up first, because there was nobody there to clean it up for me.
Not having someone to help you when you're sick really sucks.
I got sick after drinking one night, collapsed into bed, and threw up on my sheets. I had to clean it all up myself. I think I repressed the memory of the smell.
Learning how to truly relax is hard, but soooo worth it.
There's always something you have to do. Like even when relaxing there's things you really should be doing.
Every time I'm trying to relax these days I feel guilty that I'm not doing something else. It sucks.
My therapist was great about this. She basically said, there will literally never be an end to the list of things you think you "should" do. Prioritize your to do list and figure out what actually needs to be done and the stuff you want to do. All the other things will just make you feel overwhelmed.
Maturity is overrated.
Probably that fact that I still feel like a kid, definitely don't have the sense of wisdom and maturity I expected.
My dad always said the voice in your head never changes. You just get older.
Edit: Wow! I didn't know this would resonate with so many of you. I told my dad about this and you all really made him smile. Thank you for that. And thank you for my first silver and gold! :)
I wish your dad told that to everyone. I know I would have benefited from it.
Age is only a number, right?
Your parents getting noticeably older each time you see them.
Edit: Sorry to anyone I've offended. I don't mean to say that gray hairs are bad by any means (I get them and I'm only 22). I just mean that as long as I've lived with my parents they've always had the same hair. And now being away for months at a time and coming back to see them actually getting older brought me to reality.
It's the wrinkles that get me, I'm just glad they look like smiling wrinkles.
Things that schools don't teach: finances.
Anything finance-related. Bills, interest, loans, credit cards...I didn't understand most of it, nor did I take it seriously.
The education system in the US does kids a HUGE disservice when it comes to this. I never knew what credit was, I never knew what a mortgage was, or how you got loans (I thought most banks would just kinda give em to you if you hadn't had a bunch, idk), or how banks will charge you compound overdraft fees, refuse to help out with it, then file to collections and also to ChexSystems which will prevent you from getting another bank account down the road. The financial world is so complicated and nuanced, I cannot believe nobody ever mentioned any of it to me. Not once. If and when I have kids, I'm going to help them avoid all this nightmarish shit I've had to put up with when it comes to money. I'm gonna need to fix my credit before all of that happens, though. For sure.
The only thing I can do for 8 hours is nothing.
Doing stuff for 8 hours a day.
Let's be honest. Doing things for 4 hours a day and pretending to do things for the other 4.
More like 2 and 6.
Nobody knows wtf they're doing, but at least we're all in it together.
How incompetent everybody is.
When I was a child adults always had the answer. You would look at somebody in their thirties and they knew had their sh*t together, they had a house, a partner, 2.4 kids, a good career. Basically, adults knew what they were doing everything was under control.
Now I'm an adult, everything is a sh*t show. I'm the person who allegedly knows what they are doing, half the time I'm just making stuff up. EVERYONE is doing this. Our whole society is held together by well meaning people making guesses, and duct tape.
It is terrifying.
15 yo: "I know everything."
25 yo: "I don't know anything."
35 yo: "Nobody knows anything."
Adulting is lonely.
Loneliness. The depressing monotony of working the same job day after day.
It hurts my soul for reals...the other day I was in the break room with my coworker and boss. I looked out the window and to be funny I said, "theres a whole world out there" but we all felt the struggle of being stuck inside all day..
Also...coworker and I saw in our pay stub the total number of hours we had been at the office...we wanted to cry lol
Here's some real depressing math for you. Every 4.2 years you're employed full-time you will spend 1 continuous year working, not including the time spent commuting or getting ready for work.
Doesnt even sound that bad but there is also one third of your life where you just sleep. So it's basically half of your life working.
Racism is an insidious, and unfortunately prevalent, force in all of our daily lives. Maybe we're on the receiving end of it, being treated differently and losing opportunities because of others' preconceived notions.
Or maybe we're on the other side of things. Even those who aren't actively racist or discriminatory still have to process the world through the filters of the things they've been told about people who are different.