In thinking about the first season of Girls, I was struck by the fact the early adulthood depicted in the show is a entirely different experience than the middle young-adulthood or permanent-post-adolescence that myself and my immediate group of peers are currently experiencing. To think incredibly simplistically about the way adults are now (as I often do), it used to be that you went to college, maybe you diddled around for a bit (or you got drafted to Vietnam), then you started a career. Spouse, house and children all followed in short order and by age 25, your adult life was in full swing. Looking back, you could use your wedding day as the marker of the true start of your adult life.
Nowadays, for many folks who read this site, the transition between your freewheeling youth and your slightly less freewheeling middle adulthood, is a slow creep of responsibility, career responsibility, and going to your friends weddings. There’s no real rite of passage for those of us who become adults years before we actually consider settling down with someone. UNTIL NOW. I’m proposing that our generation take our adult lives into our own hands, and delineate an actual point where we deem our adult lives to officially start. Thusly, I have a few suggestions for things YOU can do to mark your transition to sweet adulthood.
1. Blowout reunion party. My good pal and former biz partner Brandon for his thirtieth birthday party had one of the most memorable birthday parties I’ve ever been too. Now, I suspect Brandon has essentially been an adult since his mid-teens, but his thirtieth was the definition of throwing yourself some sort of big deal get-down that will serve as a rite of passage. Organized little brother by Brandon’s, and officially called “BG’s second Bar Mitzvah”, something like a dozen of Brandon’s best friends from throughout his life (growing up, college, career), converged on a luxury Miami hotel and proceeded to spend, like, a ton of money of the course of a weekend. It was like being in Drake video for a weekend. For real. Bottle service! Giant, weird douche-baggy clubs filled with the kind of people who go to giant, weird douche-baggy clubs! Cabanas by the Pool! Rich people drugs! Helicopter rides over the city! (all of those things except for one happened).
The whole weekend was a highlight of my year, and I’m sure Brandon will always remember it. It made me think of how, usually the only time you can get all of your old friends together to celebrate YOU, is your wedding, where you’ll be entirely too busy to hang out. Throw a giant blowout, once-in-a-lifetime, “Adulthood starts now” party, planning ahead to get your people there, and when it’s over, you can official start your adult life (after the hang over).
2. Move out of your parents’ house. If you’re still living at home after 25, moving out can be seen as that turning point. I highly suggest throwing a housewarming/I’m an adult now party in your new, grown up home. It might have taken you longer to leave the nest but that just will accelerate the beginning of your true adult life.
3. Year round trip. This also takes planning, but this requires the kind of foresight, planning, intentionality and ballsiness that will literally grow your ass up. If you save the money and take the time to put your life on hold for a full 365 to see the world, the day you get back will be the day you say to yourself “I officially need to get my life together.”
4. Spirit quest. In five easy steps:
- Step 1. Get some peyote or reliable acid.
- Step 2. Go out into some beautiful natural spot, preferably with a buddy.
- Step 3. Trip balls for a day or two, lose yourself, find yourself, etc…
- Step 4. Come home and declare yourself an adult.
- Step 5. Never do that again.
5. Get yourself (or somebody else pregnant). Need an exact moment to point to as the instant that jumpstarted your adult life, but can’t afford any of the above? Have a baby. I should point out, that over, the long run, having a baby is waaaaaaaaaay more expensive than, say, getting your friends together for the weekend of partying.
Looking back, if I was going to recommend any of these, I’d obviously pick number 1, though you’re free to come out as an adult however you like. Remember, you only get to do it once, so make it count.
Henry Goldman is founder of yr an adult and is currently plotting something big, folks. BIG.