The Poetry Question

Discovering the Relevance of Words

Unborn Butterflies

Is adulthood merely an age?

In the U.S, adulthood legally starts at 18. I happen to be 18, I damn sure don’t feel like an adult; sure, I work, I bought my own car, I do my own laundry, and so on, but I don’t feel like a true adult, a fully functioning member of society. I still find myself constantly asking my elders about the intricacies of adulthood, “What is a resume supposed to look like?”, “How do you register for college?”, “What the hell is wrong with my car?”. How can I be an adult when I don’t pay for my own food, or my own shelter? How can I vote in an election when I can’t figure out how to mail my thank you letters?

We all know that 22-24 year old person who lives with their parents, never tried in the workforce, and just does whatever they want all the time.

Do you really consider them an adult?

What have they done to prove their maturity and earn their societal upper hand?

Adulthood is not an age, it is the next stage of a person’s life. Life begins as a useless caterpillar, just wandering around eating everything in sight, high school age is the chrysalis, the pupal stage if you will, you feel trapped, all you can worry about is yourself, you are an ever changing crusty compartment of potential waiting to burst into the butterfly stage and become useful in the world, pollinating flowers or whatever butterflies do with their time. More and more caterpillars never escape from their chrysalis, they stay in their pupal stage and live selfishly, for the duration of their life.

Adulthood begins when you take over your own life completely, everything before that is just a tutorial, pre-adult life is just an unpaid apprenticeship, so your capabilities and life-preparedness is directly dependent on who you were an apprentice under. Your carpentry skills won’t be very good if the person you’re learning it from is a plumber, it’s hard to become a successful adult without ever knowing one. That’s putting together Ikea furniture without any instructions, though it’s difficult and confusing either way, you are going to mess up a lot and it won’t be ready in the same amount of time.

I know people younger than me that I would consider adults, they have accomplished more than me in less time. In many cultures, the age of adulthood is 15 or 16, teens are sent through rites of passage into adulthood, some are beaten with sticks, some have to kill an animal, others just have to get lucky. Most 15 year old Westerners could never make it a week in today’s world. You can’t expect everyone to be ready for the world as soon as they turn 18, not everyone comes up the same. You also can’t stop someone from being part of society when they’re not 18, not everyone comes up the same.

If you put one orange farmer in Florida and one in Montana, which one is going to come back to you with market ready fruit first?

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This entry was posted on September 10, 2013 by in COMMENTARY and tagged , , , , , .

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