Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Adulthood


Adulthood. What is it really? And when do we arrive there? Is there a day we wake up and say, "Ah, adulthood, I have arrived" or is it something that in revelry of the past we stop and say, "oh, there was adulthood in that moment"?

When I was a child, I thought that being an adult meant being married and having kids. Adults drove cars, worked 9-5 jobs, served at church or in some other volunteer role. They went to kids' soccer games and watched R-rated movies. But those are not the things that define my adulthood if I am one. And honestly, I'm not sure what does define my adulthood. Maybe I'm just a miniature adult, playing at life. I'm still practicing to be an adult as I would practice playing the piano. The scary thing is that I gave up the piano. My overly-stimulated and short-attention-span child brain got bored and I quit. (Something I now regret.) But you can't quit adulthood the way you quit a musical instrument or a new hobby that doesn't quite spark your interest.

I guess the question that I'm asking is what do you do with us twenty-somethings who supposedly are in the realm of adulthood. What do you do with this new group of people who aren't choosing marriage and kids as early as our parents or even our older siblings? What do you do with the squatters, squatting on their parents' couch or a friend's couch? What do you do with our job-hopping, career-hopping, hoping for the next best thing selves? What do you do with brilliant, post-modern minds that can't seem to settle into what is essentially still a modern world?

We are drifting on the edge of a great something--a great unknown. We are emerging into something new that has never existed before. And some days I feel like James Dean in Rebel Without a Cause shouting to his parents and the world "You're tearing me apart!" And some days I believe that we are on the forefront of forever altering the way we all look at the world with eyes of justice and hope.

And then some days I wonder what it was to be Jesus. Did He feel an adult from that moment in the temple at ten-years-old? His baptism? The transfiguration? Was there a moment when He said, "This is real and I'm in this thing"? And in my wildest moments--moments of desperation and desire--I fall into Him. I fall into Jesus knowing that the quandary of adulthood is simply that. Adulthood is a quandary made up meaningless nothings without Him and purposeful, meaningful somethings with Him. When I loose myself in the dizzying meanderings of my post-modern, twenty-something mind, then I loose sight of Jesus. And child or adult, He is the stuff that life is made of.

3 comments:

Aimee Jo said...

Good thoughts. I have no answers for you, but I enjoyed reading what is going on in your head.

Amanda Peterson said...

Thanks, AJ. The realization that I'm an adult and having to deal with adult things has been more and more real as I deal with some very adult scenarios at work, etc. I don't know if matters if I ask the questions, but I'm asking anyway :)

suzylu said...

deep thoughts on your birthday! I have no answers either - I'm almost 40 (yikes - where does the time go) and I still feel like a kid wondering who left me in charge of these two (almost) little girls. But somehow we do grow, by God's grace and mercy, and with it comes widsom and discernment on how to handle adult situations. Or at least we know we don't have all the answers and fall on our face to our heavenly Father who does.