7 Misbeliefs About What it Means to be an Adult

Hello all! I’m excited to share with you this guest post I did recently for my friend Amanda’s Stern‘s How to Live Newsletter, all dressed up fancy with beautiful creations by artist Edwina White!  I hope you enjoy it and please share with anyone who may need to be reminded that they are in fact an adult, even when they don’t feel like one…

For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you may know that I join Amanda for “Tuesdays with Tamar” monthly Instagram Lives. I am the one who never updates Instagram, which leaves the wonderful Amanda Stern left to ad-lib without me, as I scramble to get online. Despite my apparent ongoing and intractable technical limitations, she has graciously not fired me. Thank you, Amanda. Love you.

What does it really mean to be an adult?

Amanda posed this question to me recently, and as you’ll see, I was ready with some answers—from my patients to my own life, this question has been on my mind.

Especially at this time.

This unprecedented moment of facing unhealed wounds and ongoing challenges in a world that keeps shaking our very foundations as we try desperately to—as is our nature—seek and see predictability, or reinvent a sense of safety that allows us to continue every day.

Raise your hand if you have felt very much like a child these past years wishing that someone would come along and say it was going to be OK.

Jef Safi

I have to put my hand down just so I can type, but I’m right there. We are not going to feel OK a lot of the time. This reality flies in the face of a long-held myth of adulthood—that being an adult means generally having your sh!t together at all times.

That is a myth. The mother of all myths about adulthood.

In our individual lives and collectively over the last few years, we’ve seen how life can bring us to our knees. And that’s OK, because that is truly what it means to be an adult sometimes. We can be undone by life and then somehow wake up the next morning (or some morning thereafter) and get up and go.

See, we have already dispelled one myth.

“I shouldn’t be feeling this way, I’m an adult!!!”

-all adults everywhere

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