REMEMBER when you were younger and you thought 30-year-olds were adults? You know, responsible and mature human beings?
In your mind they had their lives together and knew what they were doing.
Well here I am, I’m 30 and I have no idea. None. All I keep thinking is “at what age will I know what I’m doing?” And that age never comes.
I know people might be thinking — “grow up, you’re just another entitled Gen Y, accept you’re an adult, take responsibility, and get on with it and over it”.
But I can’t. Because if I could, I wouldn’t be writing about it and thinking about it on permanent loop.
I feel like I have been waiting to mature for about 10 years and it still hasn’t happened.
I need constant help and supervision. Sometimes I want to yell “I need an adult!”
I am constantly calling home.
“The fly on my jeans broke — where do I go to fix that?”
“How long do I cook a roast lamb for?”
“I have to sign a form. Can you read it and make sure its OK to sign?”
The thought of kids is scary — because I want them, but I can barely look after myself so how the HELL am I going to handle kids?
Tanya Hennessy with her mum and grandma back in the day.
The strange thing is, I have actively been trying to be more mature. Because it is a genuine concern … I have been not staying out as late, not drinking as much, trying to budget my monthly pay better, teaching myself to cook from a recipe book, and not walking home from the races with my shoes in my hands. But my heart and soul doesn’t change.
I wonder if my mother had these thoughts when she was my age. Or was it a different time? A time before Buzzfeed quizzes asking “How well are you adulting?”
So I asked her. It turns out that she struggled with “I have no idea what I’m doing” thoughts in her late twenties / early thirties too. She said that having two children created structure in her life and with children, responsibility and maturity came.
She said having to look after another life made her “step up” as an adult. But admitted even then, she felt like she was “making it up as she went along” but with no social media she just had to “get on with it”.
She also said she called her mum almost every day to ask for help and advice.
And even now at nearly 60, she still calls her 86-year-old mother for advice because “I don’t have all the answers and life is constantly throwing me curve balls!”
I guess this is self-acceptance at its finest.
I know I need to let go of my preconceived notions of what I think an adult is. I know that it’s normal to feel this way and I just need the courage to do my damn best at being an adult even though it’s not how I thought it would be.
Plus, if my mum’s still calling her mum at nearly 60 … I’m doing okay.
You can get more Tanya Hennessy here.