Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Birthdays and milestones

But I don't want to grow up yet!

Recently, two items surfaced that are making me question my own concept of adulthood: my friend Rachel blogged today about milestones and a CNN article listed 10 things that mark you as having become an adult.

I glibly commented to Rachel that I hadn't grown up yet because I wasn't a parent, nor did I own a home or an IRA. As for that CNN article, I certainly haven't yet "made peace with my body" nor have I "learned how to handle the tough times." Really? Does mastery of those 2 things seriously identify us as grownups?

Last week was my birthday and I pushed aside any celebration of it because I was too busy with a new teaching schedule and a show I was producing but now that's over and I have time to think about it. It was kind of a big birthday or could be considered one, I suppose, but I don't know how or if I will celebrate it. I'm a big fan of Disneyland which isn't far from me but does an adult with no kids celebrate that way? How should grownups celebrate birthdays? Or should they at all?

I believe the definition of being an adult needs to be more fluid. For those of us who do not have traditional 9-5 jobs or traditional families or lifestyles, we need our own way to mark passages, or milestones, as Rachel says. We need a more flexible accounting of our achievements so we don't feel like we are still kids.