Adulthood is not necessarily about starting a family.
Marriage is a ok. However, it is not the gateway to adulthood that many seem to take it for. People are getting married later than ever. Many of us will find ourselves, build a life, and create our own happiness before finding it with someone else. We will reach true adulthood long before we have a ring on our finger.
SO – WHAT ARE SOME OTHER MILESTONES TO INDICATE YOU’RE A REAL GROWN UP?
Here are 25 things that are even more grown up than getting married:
1. You are no longer on your parents’ cell phone plan.
2. You travel to a new city that you’ve always wanted to explore. You plan and pay for the trip yourself.
3. You work out and eat healthy food because you love your body, not because you hate it.
4. You have a 401k. You look forward to retirement.
5. You are secure in your life path. When a friend hits a major milestone, you no longer feel jealous or insecure. Instead, you are truly happy for them.
6. You say “I love you” without needing to hear it back.
7. You know what a deductible is. More importantly, you know what your deductible is.
8. You host a dinner party – in your home – with food you cooked yourself.
9. You have learned to dance the fine line between treating yourself and spending foolishly.
10. You have purchased furniture from a place that is not Craigslist or Ikea.
11. You’ve declined a marriage proposal that didn’t feel right.
12. You vote.
13. You can change a tire by yourself.
14. You have well developed and thoughtfully nuanced political opinions.
15. You make your own doctor and dentist appointments.
16. You buy your own plane ticket home.
17. You have quit a job that wasn’t right for you.
18. You have your own health and car insurance. You understand your coverage on each.
19. You discover a book that you can confidently and unequivocally name as your favorite. It changed your life!
20. You have moved to a town where you knew nobody. You created your own support network there.
21. You have written and delivered a fantastic speech.
22. You treat your parents to dinner once in awhile.
23. You have asked for a pay raise at work.
24. Your spiritual beliefs are entirely your own. They are a meaningful part of your daily life.
25. You donate to charity.
“Most people don’t grow up. Most people age. They find parking spaces, honor their credit cards, get married, have children, and call that maturity. What that is, is aging.,” wrote Maya Angelou.
Adulthood is not necessarily about starting a family. It is about becoming yourself and giving back to society. Consider the milestones above, and ask yourself: Are you just aging, or are you growing up?