3 Small Things that Prove You’re a Real Adult

Adulting.pngSince graduating and being inducted into “adulthood,” it seems as though my personal shortcomings as a human are constantly blazing in front of my face.

The moment when I realized that the red light I had been looking at in my fridge for eight months was actually a “Filter Needs to be Changed” alert (which then led to the natural, “My fridge has a filter?” train of thought).  The moment I was sitting around with other adults — doing adult things like comparing IRS statements and drinking black coffee while complaining about the increase in property taxes — and someone shared a humorous story about their dryer-snaking-adventure over the weekend.  This caused the inevitable “dryer snaking???” Google search followed by watching YouTube videos sponsored by WhirlPool, getting more concerned about dryer house fires by the minute.

This list could go on for way too long.  It seems as though all my peers have had similar, “What am I really doing?  Am I qualified for this amount of responsibility?” moments.

So, while the list is shorter, it is worth noting the small (but significant things) that mean you are crushing it as an adult.

Take a deep breath, (guiltlessly) buy another five dollar latte, and realize you are the adultiest adult there is.


You take your paycheck, you go to the store, and you buy balanced-food-eating groceries.

There is nothing quite as satisfying as realizing, with the first pangs of 9 am hunger, that you have packed yourself a balanced lunch for the day.

The reward that comes from opening a clean, compartmentalized piece of Tupperware on a Tuesday can truly not be matched.

Most of the time, my lunch resembles a child’s collage of what a food pyramid should try to look like.  Oh yeah – a protein bar!  I’ll take that!  Caramel popcorn that I’ve ignored since September?  Put that in today’s food bag!  Carrots?  Do I like carrots?  Doesn’t matter!  It’s what’s for lunch! 

Adulting can be found in the joy that a sandwich, some chips, and cherry tomatoes bring to a person’s desk.


You do something that you should absolutely always be doing when it comes to your car.

Anytime I accomplish any sort of task when it comes to my car, I feel like I have earned some serious Adulting points.

Putting gas in my car gives me the same feeling I imagine a 34-year-old gets with a slight job promotion.  I’m doing it.  I’m really doing it.  When there are so many things to buy and bills to pay, I act as though I am doing my car a favor.  Do you see what I’m doing here, Nissan?  Gas and air in your tires.  Wow.  I am incredible.  Oh!  And purchasing a Groupon for a $25 Jiffy Lube oil change feels as though I have cracked the adult code.

Car (or house or pet) maintenance may be one of those things able adult humans are just expected to do, but I enjoy the large feeling of validation that continues to accompany these tasks.


Buying your first pair of jeans.  No.  I mean it.  You think you already have jeans, but you don’t.

There are certain things in my life that I have an incredibly ungrateful attitude towards.  Earbuds – I feel like I should just have a pair everywhere.  My bathroom, my desk, my car, my purse.  Umbrellas – I don’t want to spend money on them, but I want three in my life.  Toilet paper – we all know Cottonelle is the best and I am worth it but my word!

I didn’t realize this attitude extended to my jean collection until I bought an actual, incredible pair of jeans.  I, like most girls I know, have a collection of half a dozen jeans that hang in my closet, each one a little worse than the last.

This pair makes me look like I could have reasonably dated Danny Tanner in 1994.  This pair is probably what Kate Gosselin looked like when she was a peppy brunette.  This pair – that’s what I look like from behind?!

The self-torture never ends.

And then the day came where I bought a pair of jeans that make me argue with myself about how many times I can reasonably wear them in a work week.  Every other day, when I slide into my Black Orchid Liquify jeans, I feel like a proper adult, in quality clothes, ready to go to my adult job.  Whoa.  Thursday, come at me.

I literally wear these jeans every day. No shame.

While the six tired and misshapen lumps of denim hanging in almost everyone’s closet are wonderful reminders are how far you’ve come in life, it is time to treat yo’self to big girl jeans that let you sit up a little straighter at your desk.


The most important thing to remember as we all learn how to win at adulting is to fake the confidence til you make it.

No one knows what they are doing; we are all just bumbling around, trying not to drown in our worries.

Am I doing this right?  I think everyone else is adulting better than me … ?  Maybe I should shave half my head and learn how to tattoo strangers on the street in exchange for Chipotle meals.

Take another deep breathe, sip that latte, and recognize that you’re adulting quite nicely.

Written by Shelby Dorsey, sadorsey@live.com


One comment

  1. Pingback: Adulting is Hard | 810showroomblog

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