The Little Things That Made Us Feel Like an Adult
by Jace Amodo, June 06, 2019 11:35am
Art by Ahl Mirambel
To this day, "how to adult" remains a query many search an answer to. When exactly do we know we're a fully functioning adult? Is it when you no longer make up an excuse to escape a friends' night out and confess straight-up that you're too lazy to get off the couch? That you'd rather shop for groceries because bars are not as much fun as they were in college? Despite these trappings of adulthood and more, one may still hardly consider themselves a grown-up.
Many of us—men, women, and queer, young and old—continue to look for clues and grasp the concept of adulthood, and that's okay. They say it's not until we make independent decisions and take responsibility for ourselves that we may add "mature" to our bio. True, but these signs are like a large machine—it wouldn't work without the small cogs.
With that, we asked Manilennials one question: "What's the little thing you achieved or purchased that made you feel like a real adult?" A caveat: they come in many forms!
"Washing machine and refrigerator. Hindi na hand-wash, less time sa laundry time. Ref, for a little reward of a cold drink after a long day at work. And efficascent oil [laughs], para anti hilo at sakit ng katawan. These are all the tipid tips for the long term. Kaysa magpa-laundry ka, kaysa um-order ka ng milk tea or whatever sa labas and magpa-massage."
- Manilyn, 25, Risk Assessment and Fraud Management Specialist
"Little thing, so 'di pwede 'yung sasakyan? [laughs] When I started buying my own lipstick and makeup, kasi before I'm used to borrowing my mom's makeup lang. I felt like an adult already because I got my own taste when it comes to choosing my own cosmetic products and I'm quite happy. It's fulfilling for me since I'm using my own money to buy the makeup that I want to use."
- Thessa, 23, Team Manager
"Gusto ko na lang kasi mag-pahinga every weekend after one week na nagwo-work ako. Automatic washing machine kasi necessity siya for us, especially na nakaka-pagod maglaba. Oven kasi I love baking. Kaya bumili ako as gift sa sarili ko and possibly for business purpose na rin in the near future kasi pwede ako mag-benta ng mga baked goods for extra income.
- Rose, 23, Marketing Assistant
"Booking flight tickets for my family for a vacation and availing insurance. Purchasing these made me realize that it's not just about me anymore and I have to think long term. There's a sense of relief or fulfillment knowing that you made your family happy and you made your future more secure."
- Amae, 23, Content Manager
"Ang naisiip ko is cellphone kasi dati, I can just ask or kukulitin ko lang si papa, but now, kahit ano wala [laughs]. Pwede rin 'yungkitchen gloveskasi badtrip ayoko talagang naghuhugas ng plates or naglalaba pero no choice. Nu’ng una hindi ako okay kasi iniisip ko kino-consume pa nu'n 'yung time and energy ko pero later on naman, parang naging part na ng daily activity ko. 'Di ko na rin napapansin minsan."
- Ericka, 22, Assistant Product Development Supervisor
"Wala pa naman akong goal na naa-achieve pero super adulting siguro 'yung bumili ako ng grocery na according lang sa list na hawak ko. Need mag-budget kasi 'di na nagbibigay ng baon parents ko [laughs]. Financially, 'di na ako 'yung careless sa pag-handle ng pera. Petsa de peligro can make or break you through the next sahod. Emotionally, ang bilis ng transition from 'ano kayang masarap kainin or magandang bilhin' to 'ano bang mura dyan' and 'kakasya pa ba pera ko?' mentality. You need to be wise sa paglabas ng pera.”
- Jhang, 23, Multimedia Specialist
"So far wala pa, nag-iipon lang ako for future wants or needs. Gano'n naman adults 'di ba panay ipon? Nagbabayad ako internet bills pero 'di ko feel du'n na adult na ko. But I can date my parents na with my own money, meaning 'di ka na pabigat, may panlibre ka pa [laughs]. Lalo akong na i-inspire mag-succeed, 'can't wait to spoil my mom/parents' nga sabi nila. Feeling ko stepping stone na din 'yun for something big.
- Den, 21, Project Manager
To say it's exhausting going through adulthood is an understatement; just the process of entering this phase is already a challenge. The things we used to love may no longer be synonymous with "happiness," but happiness changes with age. Recognizing our little efforts and wins during adulthood is essential to "manage."
Interviews have been edited for clarity and brevity.