Sometime in the past year, “adulting” crested the horizon of my lexicon. Some more clever or hip people may have been using it long before that, but for about a year I’ve been saying “adulting” to describe all sorts of responsible activities.
Usually “adulting” means not going out all night on a week night, paying the bills, sometimes taking care of your kids, doing house projects… basically being an adult except in a sarcastic, I-wish-I-didn’t-have-to-do-this way.
Adulthood has always been tricky to define because it is so culturally specific and often defined by experiences that are not universal. Beyond the complication that the unique experience of each individual presents to the idea of adulthood, social scientists have been reflecting on the recent trends in delayed development particularly present in the much-maligned millennial generation.
Economic climates remain dismal for the 99% and one of the ways the 1% is getting richer is financing the titanic student loans of an entire generation. All of the economic milestones that had once defined a “responsible adult life” have been pushed way off. Sex being unhinged from marriage makes that hallmark indefinitely delay-able too. So “adulting” is born as a joke that gets its humor from how much of a joke the whole thing is. What even is an adult? IDK. LOL.
But seriously, I don’t know. It’s an arbitrary label based mostly on buying stuff so as a true millennial I’m saying “whatever” to the label. However, I can’t say “whatever” to the unique pain of becoming what the label tries to describe. Figuring out how to make your way in the world is hard. Figuring out how to pay the bills is hard. Figuring out how to buy a car or a house, or get married, or stay married is hard. Srsly. Adulting is hard no matter when or how it is happening.
It gets even harder when we are alone, which a lot of us are; or we are relatively alone, cut off from a larger family network, which many of us are. Circle of Hope is a chance to not be alone. Circle of Hope is a people that exists to be a “WE” in Christ. We’ve been drawn together across boundaries and beyond family ties. We are not alone because Jesus came to be with us, and because we are now with Him, we are SO not alone.
Practically, we do this when we gather in cells, groups of ten meeting face to face, which make it hard to hide behind self-reliance, pious bible quotations, or other facades. We get real with each other. We adult together. We pool resources and knowledge. We get each other jobs and get each other into college. We even pay each other’s bills when it doesn’t work out the way we planned. And now it is not so hard anymore.