Monday, December 15, 2008

What Does It Mean to Be Grown?

My mom called me this morning and said the following:

"I have an idea about something for you to write about. Write about what it means to be grown. Just because you are an adult, doesn't mean you are grown. Being grown means you are responsible"

So I will concede to her wishes and write about what it means to be grown.

Technically, anyone who is an adult is considered to be "grown". Although, when you insert the word RESPONSIBILITY into the equation, it can change some people's definition of what they believe the word "grown" to be. Because I know my mother, I know EXACTLY what she is referring to when she says that just because you are an adult, it doesn't make you grown. I had this conversation with my dad a while back, who is FAR more technical than my mother and he gets irritated when people say things like "I'm a grown adult" because he says you are stating the obvious. Physically, yes you would be; mentally, maybe not so much.

Regardless of how you were raised, there comes a time in your life when you will need to be 100% self-sufficient. When my mother was talking about being grown, she was referring to this. Unfortunately, not everyone reaches that plateau in life where they do not NEED to go to someone to help them take care of themselves. What? An adult who needs help taking care of thyself? happens.

I was talking to a friend the other day and they were pretty much tearing someone else a new one because they were 30 and their parents STILL "supported them". Did that mean they still lived with their parents? No, but their parents paid their car note, rent, utilities, and anything else they couldn't manage to pay themselves...even though they are a GROWN ADULT...and had a full-time job. Believe it or not, you can be an adult and not be grown. When my mother was talking to me, she was referring to doing all the adult things in life that are NORMAL, without the constant help of your parents and/or whoever normally took care of you...when you were child.

So what does it mean to be GROWN?

I always viewed a grown person as one who:

- paid their own rent

- paid their own car note

- paid their own car insurance

- bought their own groceries

- kept all their utilities on

- paid their own cell phone bill

regardless of having to eat Top Ramen and/or rice for breakfast, lunch, and dinner...

Many times, I got into it with "friends" over this subject because they relied on their parents/guardians to take care of these things for them...a few called me a hater and I laughed...a few said I was just jealous and wished someone would take care of me and I laughed. The point is, they were salty because they KNEW these are things their adult azz SHOULD be doing but were just privileged enough to not HAVE TO do it or do a half ass job of it because SOMEONE was bound to save them.

Now, if you have someone you can convince to do these things for your grown azz, hey, more power to you but if not, REALLY look at what you are doing with the money you do receive...if you have a FULL-TIME job that pays pretty decent, why can't you take care of yourself??? Does your irresponsibility come into play because you know you have that safety net of someone elses income?

I would stare in amazement at my Evil Cousin and her friends because these heffas ALWAYS managed to have money for a new pair of shoes to hit the club in and a snazzy little dress from Lohmans to floss in but no money to pay their rent. I was also dumbfounded as to how they had money to blow during homecoming weekend but no money to keep their lights and cell phone on. I was thoroughly blown when they had money for manicure and pedicures but no money to put food in their refrigerator. Am I still hating? No.

As a GROWN ADULT, you have priorities and some of those things are mentioned above so if you can manage to take care of ALL of those things without asking OR coming across so pitiful to your parents that they just stick the money in your account, well THEN you are grown. Until then, accept the fact that you are a man or woman child (yes are Mowgli*) who is STILL very much dependant on someone elses source of income for your survival.

Mom, I don't know if that's what you wanted me to write but in the event Tenniel or Rodney reads this, I didn't want them coming after me with pitchforks and knives because I know what you wanted me to REALLY say...LOL

*Mowgli - the mancub who needed constant rescuing in Jungle Book...he wasn't very self-sufficient, remember?

13 points of view:

Diamond~Star said...

I want to applaud you on this!!!

This is something I tell my oldest nephew everyday. So what you are supposed to be grown? Are you responsible? There is an old ad that says "Responsibility Matters" and if that is not so true I don't know what is. I know females who will brag all day about not working, sitting at home, going out all the time, but they trying to call you up talking bout they need help with the lights before they get cut off (cousin Shay and nem). You tell them no and they think you are supposed to be better than anybody else, Ha!!! I say all these little young knuckleheads who thing they are the big shots need to read what you have to say. Good blog!!!

Number Five said...

I concur. My dad had the same philosophy as your mom his favorite thing to say was 'you're not grown until you live on your own and pay yoour own bills. That's the only way you wont have to answer to anyone else.' People telling you you were jealous is laughable, when you're holding your own you never want to switch places with someone who is being supported in anyway by their parents. Yeah they can spend more money shopping but then you listen to them argue with their parents like teenagers and that shit is painful.

Ms. Independent said...

Your right, responsibility is key when it comes to being grown. I know people well over 18/21 and died and I still don't consider them to be grown.

Personally, I know I'm not grown yet. I may be an adult in the fact that I'm over 18 but I'm not 100% responsible for everything. Honestly I don't plan on being grown until they cut me off or until I graduate and find a good job so whichver one comes first. Hopefully the latter will come before the former or I'll be hurt lol.

I'm not in a rush to take on all that added stress that comes with so many responsibilities. Once I do become grown I don't want to end up coming back home looking for handouts because I rushed into something that was too much for me.

I want to have my own and them some. I can't wait for the day that I can not only take care of myself but take of my parents as well for putting up with me for so long.

suga said...

I'll probably be a woman child until I find a sugar daddy to take care of me. lol

Naw, but for real, when I worked I took care of all of my bills on my own, but no matter what the circumstance, if I really want something, I have always been able to get it, whether it be from my mom or my grandmother. It's that only child syndrome. It's even gotten to the point where I will refuse my mom's help but she will get it for me anyway. There were times when my unemployment benefits were slow coming in and I'd be nervous as hell about paying my rent, but I'd take a look in my account and miraculously I had an extra $900 chillin' in there. Who's gonna turn that down? Not I, said suga. Either use it or go homeless? I'll take door #1.

Brittni said...

Suga touched on my thoughts. What if you have the ability (the job & the finances) to take care of yourself but someone else voluntarily does it (like a would-be suitor or parent), does that make you irresponsible to allow it?

AssertiveWit said...

@ Brittni: personally, I have ALWAYS believed that parents are OBLIGATED to help their offspring...when necessary. I don't have children and some parents might wanna kick me in the teeth for saying that but hey, if you can help your GRATEFUL and APPRECIATIVE children, why wouldn't you? So in Suga's case, I don't think this blog would apply to someone like her because it isn't like she's out living it up in Oakland wasting her limited funds thinking "Oh, mom's is gonna see my bank account and hollaback".

I think it becomes irresponsible when the adult child is spending THEIR money on foolishness and then using their parents money to take care of themselves. There is no need for that so why would you take advantage of your parents like that, you know?

If someone has the ability to take care of themselves AND they ACTUALLY do, their family wouldn't feel obligated to help them. Hardships are exactly what they are...and when you're privileged to have that help, hey, take advantage of it.

When I was talking to my mom, she was more or less hinting at adult children who just be taking advantage of their parents BECAUSE they are their know with the attitude, "your my just gone let me get evicted?"...and most parents with ungrateful azz kids like this should respond, "umm, yes, that's exactly what I'm going to do especially when you're standing here with a $75 sweater on, and some $215 J's on your feet...that was PART of yo rent money I'm not paying" LOL

AssertiveWit said...

@ everyone: Hey, I accept monetary gifts just like any sane individual but I guess the line of distinction to be drawn is USING someone else as your safety net and/or bank of funds for finances you are ultimately responsible for...I think that is what my mother was getting at when she was talking to me :)

There is just something REALLY wrong with someone calling their mother and/or father for money so their cell phone won't get cut off as they're at the mall buying a $200 pair of boots.

Anonymous said...

I live with my parents, but I still believe that I am an adult. They also pay my cell phone bill, my car payment, and my car insurance. And when people tell them that they are 'doing too much', they will politely tell them that they do it because they love me :) I've never asked them to pay all those things; they were gifts. Why would I reject them just so someone will think I'm 'grown'? I don't understand why people are so adamant about doing everything alone. In my family, what affects one, affects us all. My debt from school loans weighs on my parent's minds as heavily as it weighs on mine. They are blessed, and they enjoy passing the blessings on, and I appreciate (and accept) the assistance that they provide!

AssertiveWit said...

@ Anonymous:

You're right you are an adult...the point of the blog was to state that there are things that AS AN ADULT you are responsible for and you SHOULD be wholly responsible for BUT there is a difference between parents "helping" their adult children and their adult children taking advantage of their parents willingness to help them out.

Taking care of yourself teaches you VALUABLE attributes and other things that will be helpful to someone once they get a family of their own OR in the event they HAVE to take care of themself 100% some day, so it isn't bashing people who LET their parents HELP them when necessary...this is about people who ABUSE that privilege.

I'm sure your parents would not be so willing to care about your school loans if you were being an ingrate; if that is the arrangement you have with them, so be it but a part of growing up IS doing those SPECIFIC things you mentioned, on your own :)

Imagine if you got pregnant or got someone pregnant (don't know if you're a man or woman)...your parents would ALSO be taking care of them too because you don't even take care of yourself now. You don't do these things because of what other people think; you do them because as an adult, YOU'RE SUPPOSED TO.

It isn't about doing anything ALONE; it's about being responsible for yourself. What would you do if your parents (heaven forbid)were to pass? Would you know how to take care of yourself? As an adult, you should know...and that was the whole point :)

jeanette nicole* said...

I currently live @ home with my father, but the only thing I don't pay for is rent. He refuses to take the money for it, but I've taken over the other bills in the house as a way of trying to make up for it, lol. In undergrad, I was SO that woman child, lol. As long as I knew Mommy and Daddy had my back, I most certainly saw nothing wrong with prioritizing a new purse over paying bills.

After I graduated, my parents became fully aware of their enabling and started scaling back. At first I was pissed, but then I realized that I need to get up, get out and do something. I learned that I most certainly could not depend on them for the rest of my days. I feel like once I move (only there due to some dumb decisions on my part coming back to bite me on the ass) I'll know what it feels like to be an adult completely.

I feel you and this post 100%.

ChiChi said...

This is what I really hate right now: As a "grown" person, I am still very dependent on my parents. The shit irks the hella outta me. The last year and a half (in aschool and after graduation), it's really been driving me crazy. I hate the fact that my parents can tell me what they want me to do or what I'm gonna do because they are supporting me. In my last year of school, I damn near felt like dropping out because of this.

But, I can't do anything, but "Wait till I get my money right" so I can move out and move on.

And my cousin, who's in undergrad and stays at home, actually told me she planned on staying in school for a few years and not getting a job, to boot. Good luck with that ish cuz I don't like the feeling being dependent gives me.

oNe mAn gAng said...

LMAO @ "Anonymous"...and Syn you know why.

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