I don’t know about you, but I never notice gradual changes in myself as they happen. It always hits you in sudden moments when you catch yourself and think… “wow. I’ve changed.”
This piece is based on a couple of AskReddit thread. Links on the last page.
1. Big Brother is looking out for you.
I had just finished university and moved back home that weekend. My younger brother (15 at the time, I was 21) had just left for school. I was in bed, as one in this position would normally be at 7:20am. That’s when I hear my mom yell at me, your Dad’s having a heart attack!”
Well, I went from asleep to fully dressed in a matter of seconds, ran to the bottom of the stairs to get Asprin. Crap, no Asprin! Ran down the street to get Asprin from a neighbor. Got the Asprin, gave it to my dad, waited for the paramedics.
Dad gets carted off to the hospital. My mom and I are in tow, staying with him while doctors are tending to him. My mom is pretty shaken up, so I’m doing a lot of the talking to doctors, then talking to her.
That’s when it dawns on me. My little brother is coming home from school. He’s going to come home to an empty house that is in disarray from the paramedics and all. So, I hike it back to the house, leave my mom at the hospital with my dad.
My brother came through the door some time between 3 and 3:30pm, and that was my “I’m an adult” moment. I had to tell my little brother that his dad had a heart attack while holding myself together.
2. Kid burn.
I was cleaning my car in the driveway, and a neighbor kid walked up and said “wow, you own a Corvette?” I said yes, and I let him sit in it and stuff. He then gets out and runs to his dad, and says, “Dad! that old guy over there has a Corvette!” I was 34 at the time.
3. I did it myself.
Every once in a while, I look around my apartment and remember that the only thing keeping a roof over my head is my own continued effort. It’s weird.
4. Jackie Robinson birthday.
It was yesterday. One of my work colleagues said he had to leave early to go to his father’s 42nd birthday party.
I’m 43. NOOO!!!!!
5. For the birds.
I said out loud to my fiance, “We should get a bird feeder” and I was serious. Theres no coming back from that.
6. Kitten, smitten.
I had fostered a momma cat and 4 kittens. I had one kitten I really wanted to keep if it didn’t get adopted. A lady came over with her daughter and her daughter fell in LOVE with him.
Just smitten. I knew I had to let her have that kitten. She’s a little girl, I’m almost 30… but man was that an “Im an adult, I have to act like one” moment. I knew he was the best cat out of the bunch and he needed a loving family, and a little girl to love him.
I cried as soon as they left.
She still has the cat years later and the mom contacted me to say it’s the best cat they have ever had.
7. School’s out forever.
When I realized after my first year in the workforce that there would be no summer vacation.
8. The struggle is real.
I was feeling tired and didn’t want to go to work one morning. Then I realized that going in to work would be less of a pain than trying to make up for everything I would miss that day if I didnt.
That was a sad realization.
9. Love you forever
I realized I was really an adult when my remaining parent died. That’s when you realize… there’s no one around who’s there for you, or loves you unconditionally. It’s hard.
10. Grow your own chores.
I put grass seed down. And fertilized it. And now I check its progress daily. I’m trying to grow grass on purpose knowing full well that I’ll have to mow it.
11. I love lamp.
I received a box store gift card for my birthday for $100. Sweet! I could get a new video game, maybe a new controller… I left with a new lamp. And was jazzed about it.
When I was super excited to do laundry.
My friend recommended a detergent that made her clothes smell really good. I went to the store right after work and canceled my plans for the night so that I could do laundry.
I walked into a shop that sold BB guns and swords and all manner of weapons. As I was was walking around in childlike wonder I saw a full size recurve bow. I loved it and wished that I could buy it. It was so awsome, too bad I would never be allowed-
Then I remembered I’m 23. Not 12. I can buy a bow if I want one.
14. The boogeyman.
Buying something from the local shop. A lady behind me says to her toddler “watch out for that man” and it took me a while to realize she was talking about me. I’m not a man! I’m a baby!
15. It’s important to stay hydrated.
I was at a house party, finishing my 4th beer. And then I thought, “If I leave now, I can play video games for 30 minutes, eat something, drink some water, be in bed by 10pm, and not have a hangover tomorrow.”
Deciding that was better than getting drunk was the first adult decision I ever made.
16. Doesn’t wash with me.
I knew I was an adult when I was happy to spend $700 to buy a new washer, then haul it home, and replace the broken one all so I could have clean clothes.
As I looked over and saw my daughter playing fort in a box, I thought to myself – “When did my imagination die?”
17. Still a terrible rate.
I called my grandparents and told them how excited I was that I refinanced my car and dropped my interest from 15% to 10% and cut my payments in half. It was at that moment that I realized my childhood was dead.
18. Draft dodging.
Seeing all the draft picks younger than me every year always reminds me that Im an adult. I don’t even know why that always does it. It’s just a reminder that I’m older than them and have not achieved anything close.
19. Amazon is a jungle.
We used our Amazon points to buy a garbage can that opened when you waved your hand in front of the lid. I tracked it every day until it arrived and opened it the second it hit my porch. I was excited about a garbage can, and it was the highlight of my week.
Getting laid off from my job at 24. Full time, 40 hr week, career job and they laid me and 15 other people off due to a decline in revenue.
Being 24, in a new city with no friends and suddenly losing my job was like adulthood sucker punching me. How was I going to make rent? Do I have enough experience to get another job? Is this really happening? This is a joke right? They can’t do this to me, I’m only 24! Maybe it’s all a dream!
Then I got myself together and had to start making phone calls. No one was going to magically make it right for me. No one was going to knock on my door and fix my problems. That was my first real “I’m an adult and this could all go wrong so quickly” moment.
21. Coverage is punk.
I was at a punk show late on Sunday night in Boston and between sets we started talking about health insurance.
22. And now you’re a banker too.
When my Dad asked to borrow $5,000 from me. I had spent my entire life asking him for money, and when the tables were reversed it was a strange feeling for me. I felt terrible for him that he had to ask me for the money, but in that moment I felt like an adult.
23. Spice is the spice of life.
When I bought and filled my spice rack. I just looked at it and thought, well I have $42 worth of spices. I guess this is life now.
24. So gifted.
I realized my own adulthood at Christmas, when I noticed that I was more excited about my family and friends opening the gifts I got for them than I was about opening the gifts they got for me.
25. Finger in every pie.
My friends and I all had a collective moment of clarity. We were buying drinks and snacks for a small get-together and we decided we wanted a pie. So we went over to the pie section and immediately started arguing over which pie to get. And then, suddenly, it struck us: We could get two pies. We could even get three pies. We could buy as many pies as we want because it’s our money and our health and our tastes.
All of the costs and benefits were ours and ours alone!
26. So wise and ancient.
I was three years old when I grasped the concept of aging. I was THE master at holding up three fingers when my age was asked. Ask anyone who knew me at the time.
My mother was 23 years old and I knew it. I also knew it was far too many fingers to hold up. She was old, man. But she was my hero. The all-knowing. My go-to woman for anything boo-boo or hunger related.
A split-second later, I was 23 years old. I had become old. I had reached the age of the all-knowing. But I didn’t feel as though I was all-knowing. I must have missed something. I reached adulthood anyway.
27. Tree house.
I just moved into a new house and there is a tree in my yard that looks awesome to climb. But then I thought to myself, “you have neighbors, bro…”
28. Bronze medal.
Got in an argument with my wife about what color of bathroom fixtures we were going to install. Brushed bronze for the win!
29. You’ll always be my baby.
When I graduated college and moved back in with my parents two months ago.
Nothing makes you realize that you’re an adult more quickly than being treated like you are a child again.
30. Hellooooo nurse!
About two months after I graduated college and was in my first job, I was having dinner on a patio with friends. A block away, two cars collided and one guy wasn’t wearing his seatbelt. People were running towards the scene and someone yelled “is anyone a doctor?” The whole patio was watching the scene.
My friend said, “go help.” To which I thought, “no, I’m not like a real nurse, I’m just, like, you know… a nursing student who just graduated from nursing school and works as a nurse… oh wait, I think I’m a nurse. How the hell did that happen?”
I jogged over and said “I’m a nurse” and it was the weirdest feeling to have people twenty or forty years older than me to be looking at me like “OKAY GOOD, YOU BE THE AUTHORITY HERE UNTIL THE PARAMEDICS SHOW UP.”
No one was seriously hurt at all and immediate medical help wasn’t all that necessary. Guy who wasn’t wearing his seatbelt had whiplash. I just told him not to move and stay put.
Asked him if he’d hit his head, asked his name, asked him what day it was. Anyone who’d seen a medical show could have done what I did. Then the ambulance and cops came and the waitress got my table a comped dessert for my “act of heroism,” which was essentially me muddling my way through the situation while thinking, “oh god, oh god, why am I the adult in this situation?”