adult (n.; adj.)

“Another belief of mine: that everyone else my age is an adult, whereas I am merely in disguise.” — Margaret Atwood

I would have thought that I would feel like an adult by thirty, but I don’t. Adulthood still feels like it’s just around the corner. I’ve got real grown-up responsibilities — a 9-to-5 job, health care premiums — and more than one set of sheets and towels. Yet somehow I still feel like I belong at the kids’ table. At my parents’ recent sixtieth birthday party, I found myself referring to my parents, aunts, and uncles as the adults. As opposed to my brother, my cousins, and myself: all in our thirties, some married with kids. But not adults. Silly, right?

It turns out that they all feel the same way — even after giving birth to another human being, buying real estate, making regular RRSP contributions. If even those capital-R Responsibilities don’t do the trick, I wonder if adulthood will always feel like it’s just over the horizon. Perhaps not such a bad thing?

— Chelsea