As I’ve mentioned a few times in passing, H. and I are currently looking for a home. It’s exciting and scary and frustrating and emotional, since I tend to say things like, “Oh my God, this is the house where we’re going to have babies!” even though that’s very far off and it’s really more like, “This is the house where we’re going to have a dog!”
There were a lot of reasons behind why we decided to look for a house now, most of them practical. The housing market is good, we plan on staying in this city, the aforementioned “we want to get a dog” situation…basically, there’s no reason for us not to get a house right now.
But I can’t help but feel a little bit of trepidation about looking for a house so soon after getting married. It all feels a little…checklist-y.
My mom and one of my friends have both used this as a way to describe the way a lot of people from our hometown look at life. Like, you go to prom and get dressed up: check! You graduate from high school: check! You graduate from college (sometimes): check! You get married: check! You buy a house: check! You have babies: check! YOU CONTINUE YOUR SLOW MARCH TOWARDS EVENTUAL DEATH.
Okay, I added that last part myself. But what they were trying to say, and what I believe, is that that’s a sad and boring way to live your life. It’s also pretty destructive, since blindly following someone else’s markers usually just leads to unhappiness (as it did for many people I know who got married young). It can be pretty easy to think we need to do these things to become “adults,” whatever that word even means. It can be easy to think we’re “behind” everyone else, or that we need to be looking ahead at our next marker.
But none of that stuff matters. Seriously. It’s all bullshit. Who says you have to get married to be an adult? Who says you have to get married EVER? And it’s not like buying a house means the same thing it used to–it’s not necessarily a solid investment. And you definitely shouldn’t have babies when you don’t want them, no matter how many people ask you when you’re going to have them as if it’s any of their business, anyway.
My personal checklist for being an adult goes like this: Are you paying your own bills? Okay, then you’re an adult. And even that one is pretty flexible, because adults get into bad situations and need financial help sometimes too.
Screw checklists, guys. Never get married, keep renting forever, don’t have babies, DO WHATEVER YOU WANT! Live your life! We are all adults here (except for those of you who aren’t legally adults).
Image via Natalie Dee