A few days ago, I was having a hard day. I couldn’t find parking, the traffic was atrocious, and the weather was stifling (without A/C in my car – it felt worse).
I had this odd reaction – I wanted to stamp my feet, go back to my parents’ home, and away from living like an adult.
It was an odd way to react, but I realized that for the very first time, living with Thenix felt like I was stepping onto the cold, hard stones of adulthood. I didn’t feel ready.
I have friends who are still living at home, enjoying the bliss of their parents taking care of them, and I felt like a petulant child wanting to go back home.
Why did I feel so entitled to go back to my parents anytime I wish and eschew the adult life I had craved for so long?
I know my parents would take me back in an instant, ready to take care of me. But I resisted.
My argument is that even though being an adult is hard work, it has been so for generations of humans and it is especially harder for our generation to get it going.
It is harder for our generation to move into adulthood – both due to the economic and political state of the world, and due to our own motivations and needs.
This article about our generation sums up the economical part of the equation quite well. We have student loan debt up the wazoo, our job market is unstable and uncertain, the housing market is booming making it hard to buy, and our expenses (as a % of our income) are much higher compared to our parents, as the price of everything has risen exponentially. We are struggling to start up our adult lives. Most of the time, we really don’t start up our adult life until our late 30s and/or early 40s. We stay with parents until we are ready to stand up on our feet – which means, paying off our debt, and saving up enough to buy a little condo or preferably house.
It isn’t just the economy’s fault that we are unable to get our lives into gear. We are also lazy, and we feel that we should have an easier life. We wish to have the perfect job for us, before we move an inch from the couch. We have expectations about how our lives should have turned out, and it hasn’t happened yet – so we wait stealthily for everything to fall into place. We wait for the American dream to fall into our laps while our parents support us.
Finally, we have a lot of needs. We believe we need everything. We need a car, a smartphone, the clothes, the accessories, the electronics and we need all these things before we even consider moving out on our own. And of course all these things must be the latest and greatest, so we get them all on credit, accumulating monthly credit card payments that are typically higher than renting an apartment.
The culmination of all of this, as I learned that day, is that we find adulthood hard!
Maybe it actually is harder now than it was for our parents, or maybe it’s not. No matter what, we need to grow up and learn to take care of ourselves. Our parents won’t be with us forever as much as we would want them to be.
If you haven’t heard of the Big Trip yet, you are in for a treat. Boom and Thenix are travelling to the southern most tip of South America, through the West Cost of US, Mexico and parts of South America and back up the East Coast. We are planning on leaving on or around June 21st. We have made a detailed budget for the trip and we have included it here for those of you who are curious about how much a trip like this would cost. We will travel for a total of 50,000 kms to around 22 countries. If you have any other questions about the trip please see our post on The Big Trip or check out our Archives Page.
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