No one is an adult.

Age itself is a legitimate measurement of the years we have lived. Different cultures measure age differently, including the birth year as one instead of zero. However, age roles — childhood, adulthood, senior/elder, etc. — are social constructs.

Eighteen makes you a legal adult, but emancipated minors assume adult responsibilities before reaching the age of legal adulthood. They pay rent, buy groceries, work full-time and attend high school — not all of them, though; some drop out to take care of their siblings they’ve adopted. I wholeheartedly expected to have to be one of them, so I spent much of my life rushing into adulthood and trying to figure everything out.

Rainbow Vans shoes on wood vinyl floor, wearing black jeggings

Twenty-one is the legal drinking age. Buying alcohol and/or partying at a club is viewed as a rite of passage, despite many people already having partaken in those things using fake IDs or older friends/family members/strangers to gain access.

All being an adult means is that you have full discretion over how you’re going to spend your money.

There are no fucking rules.

We’re all still figuring this shit out, like little kids, except not all of us have parental units to fall back on. Turning a certain age doesn’t mean you’ve graduated to adulthood.

Adulthood is just a cult encouraging people to act a particular way.

Get in line — that’s what I hear all the time about being an adult.

Oh, you’re struggling to pay bills and need another stimulus check? Get in line.

Aw…you want family time?? Get in line!

As if there is supposed to be a norm and you’re supposed to conform to this crappy way of life the previous generations put up with instead of — I don’t know, doing what you want with it?

Nobody has their shit together.

We’re all just fucking faking it, and then you get some adults who decide to parent other adults because they dislike that those adults are not conforming and getting in line.

I choose to live out my life doing what I want.

There were lots of things I wanted to do as a kid, even when I had money, but didn’t get to because of guardians. Most birthday and Christmas money I received, my mom would take and spend on something that cost at most a third of what I received, having spent the rest on her own luxuries.

I remember a time in Pflugerville, when she came home from the store after not taking me with her as promised to buy a Baby Bottle Pop with my card money. It was a clear, plastic box of cheap nail polish I never asked for. She acted ecstatic, all smiles and shit, and it would’ve great if it weren’t in vain. She wanted me to paint her nails. She’d maybe paint mine. “I wanted to save it!” I had shouted, tears puddling in my eyes. Then she got angry. Then I went back into the headspace; I hated her.

This isn’t about my mom not being a mom, or even about my identity as an alter in a dissociative identity disorder (DID) system not recognizing the mother of the body as my own, as far as singlets are concerned.

Want cotton candy on standby? Okay.

Cool toys? Got ’em.

Dream dollhouse? Building it.

Binging Netflix all day when I’m off work? WHY THE FUCK NOT??

I’m doing a lot of what I wanted the ability to do as a kid.

Sometime after 9/11/01, I was sitting in a chair one morning before school, dissociating. We just needed a minute and got yelled at for it. Do you think the people in the towers had a minute?! How dare you get a minute!

I have the ability and freedom to take a minute when needed, to dissociate in peace without getting yelled at for a trauma coping mechanism.

I always have freezer pops, fruit pops, Sister Schubert’s dinner rolls, and soda in stock.

I spend my days how I want, for the most part

I don’t consider myself superior to anyone just because of my age. I definitely don’t use it as a baseline to lord over anyone.

These expectations of how people should be based on their age, on the age role associated with it, is all crap. Legally speaking, sure — accept that minors are minors.

But stop defining adulthood as this tangible thing when it doesn’t even exist in the first place.

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