Stumbled across this 2008 post from yes and yes this week: In Praise of Non-traditional Adulthood.

First of all, my goodness, I love Sarah Von’s blog. Her “true story” series just plain rocks and how, well, FULL OF WIN is this flickr group? Posts from her blog make it onto my weekly round-up all the time because they just stick with me. The content is great all the time.

This post was no exception. Check it out if you get a chance, and then head back here—-I’d love to hear which step you’re on…or if your life doesn’t even vaguely resemble this list!  Here’s Sarah’s slightly tongue-in cheek-formula for American adulthood:

1. attend four-year university
2. meet your special someone while attending said university
3. graduate and move in with special someone
4. get your starter job
5. marry special someone
6. advance in your job
7. baby #1
8. buy a house
9. baby #2
10. move the the suburbs, eat out exclusively at Olive Garden, spend your weekends engaging in lawn care and taking kids to soccer practice, slowly die inside.

So, I’m pretty solidly on step 4. I added graduate school (which meant two years of living by myself) and the long distance segment of our relationship on before that, but the order and components are pretty much the same. The addition of Arwen should count, too, in my humble puppy-lovin’ opinion. As of now, I see my life progressing a bit like this list…but with years of living in Europe thrown in before any babies. And maybe the house will take awhile; I’m dating a city boy and am slowly becoming a convert. And, um, much as I love Olive Garden, I hope to experience a whole lot of other cuisine. And, OH YEAH, avoid the dying inside and obsessive lawn care.

I guess I bring this up because, well, it made me think. Adam and I have our pact to never be boring, and I truly believe we will achieve it. In a lot of ways we are pretty traditional (even I’m a little shocked we’re moving in together before engagement/marriage, much as I’m excited about it…where did our lapsed Catholic/Lutheran guilt go?), but I think the in-between steps are what will keep us from feeling like we adhered to some pre-determined schedule with zero flexibility. I also like that Sarah points out that the formula isn’t bad, if that’s what you want. And I certainly want babies and suburbia and soccer practices some day…but not any time soon. And lots o’ other things had better go along with ’em. Date nights, trips to Europe, and lots o’ reunions with friends come to mind first. Financial security before those steps is another pretty big issue in my mind.

Would love to hear your reactions to Sarah’s post/the general concept: do you feel compelled to stick to a certain order of life events? Have you strayed outside these guidelines? If so, how have your family/loved ones reacted? What does your version of “adulthood” look like?

My version of adulthood starting August 2010? Financial independence from my parents, life in a city I love with my boyfriend and an adorable puppy, being the best darn speech-language pathologist I can be, saving for a future I’m so very jazzed about (even if the details are unknown…I’m getting more and more comfortable with the unknown). Priorities: making time for reading, exercising, cooking, traveling, nights out, and cuddling.


~ by Elena Marie on June 22, 2010.

One Response to “Adulthood.”

  1. Well, I met my special someone, moved in with him, got engaged, and got married all during grad school. I don’t think kids are in my future (definitely not in the immediate future), but more travel and running adventures are. I’ve lived in Europe. I don’t like Olive Garden. I might end up on a more traditional path at some point, but I kinda doubt it.

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