What does it mean to adult? To be an adult? There is no clean simple answer to so big of a question. Here is a part of an answer. Time’s wasting, let’s begin.
This post is part 1 in a 3-part series. Part 2 is here, and part 3 is here.
The Basics: What’s Your Canoe?
You are a watery sack of meat, endowed with the most computationally advanced organ ever created on earth: a brain. You can have all sorts of earthly pleasures in your run, but none of this is for free. To keep this sweet deal rolling as long as possible, there’s upkeep and maintenance on this meat bag here. The major categories are:
- The means to provide for 1 – 3
In modern societies, we usually boil all of this down to money and having a job. As the theory goes, if society hasn’t devolved into a post-apocalyptic wasteland, then getting 1, 2, and 3 is easy as long as you have money.
Let’s be clear: the task is not to have money or a job. It’s to have 1 – 3. But we can agree that usually money is close enough to having the same thing.
Paddle Your Own Canoe
Level 1 adulting is simple: commit to provide for the basics for yourself and those you are directly responsible for, such as your children without requiring anything of another adult.
Commitment, Not Guarantee
This is not an absolute. Any functioning adult will have times of sickness and incapacity where it won’t be possible. People lose jobs, and things do fall apart. Level 1 adulting is a commitment to paddle your own canoe, which is different than the absolute performance of the same at all times.
No commitments can be absolute, until you control all of the external factors of the universe that can compromise you. That will never happen, so the commitment cannot be absolute. It’s enough for it to be serious & sincerely held.
It All Begins Here
Without paddling your own canoe, you cannot unlock the more choice and fun levels of adulting. Remember: this is about paying the maintenance costs of your meat bag i.e. your body. If you fail to adult to this level, there are consequences:
- Stay a child forever
- Destroy your standing among your fellow meat bags
- Probable loss of personal autonomy as you have to rely on others to meet your needs
- In the extreme – possibly lose your life.
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