Adulting…When Does it Begin?

Tracy Cross
4 min readJul 2, 2021


All my life, I’d say, “When I grow up, I’m gonna…” But when do you actually realize it and start doing it?

I feel you Sponge Bob

This apocalypse has taught me one thing-that I may need to adult better. I was holding onto shoes and clothes that expired-for lack of a better word. I wasn’t take proper care of myself because I was so wrapped up in giving my energy and time away. My youngest kids shoe collection rivals any adult woman (more so my sister’s shoes) that I know. I’d really neglected myself in the process.

Correction, I have been neglecting myself.

Clothes? I was sewing them back together until I looked at something and realized I’d had it before my youngest was born. I found an apron I’ve had since my oldest was born…more thing 20 years. Then, I sat down and realized several aspects of my life.

I wasn’t adulting. I was getting by. I was doing what was necessary. I was surviving not living. I guess I was waiting for someone to step up and say, “Okay, adulting starts now!” There was no one that told me. I just woke up one day and said, “It’s time.”

First, I cleared out my closet. Pants that were too small we’re gone, things I had not worn forever, clothes that still had tags on them that I kept because the guilt fairy would tap me on the shoulder. I mean, I had a fucking muumuu that my former mother-in-law gave me more than 25 years ago. I cut the cord. I let go of the past and guilt and shame and secret hoarding. I packed all of it up with loving care and got rid of it.

Bye old me. Hello new me.

I thought back to the old me. The one that wanted to shop at such and such store and only wear such and such shoes. We went for an (online) shopping spree. I’ve embraced my adult body, now. I always wanted to be a touch thicker and now, here we are. Adult me purchased some really cute dresses and pants. We (because my adult self is me and my new adult self, thus us)also got a few new pairs of shoes that we have always lusted over but never purchased because…well, the whole-my kid needs newer things process.

The day came when the “New Adulting Me” stepped into the world. We wore the new adult dress and the adult shoes. We felt confident. Like we had “swag” (well, whatever the kids used to say or say now) And it showed. Confidence poured from me on the metro. When I walked into work, my colleagues said I looked different and seemed different. It felt good.

Where has this chick been? She’s got the moxie or whatever it is and I like it. She speaks confidently and she is more self assured because she is adulting. And you know what else? She paid all her bills a month and had a little extra. Did she spend it? Nope. Apocalypse. She sat on it because, thinking like an adult, she knows this next month is going to be a bit hard with the work schedule and what not.

But hey, at least we are adulting like we should.

I do want to add that one more thing helped me move into a positive head space. It was an app.

So, I was reading a newspaper and one of the Hadid Stick Figure Models had an app on her phone. I looked it up and it was all about positive affirmations. (She’s the sister that may have had some help with her face, but you know, won’t say because it’s kinda obvious. The other one has these fat cheeks that I wonder how would a makeup artist contour them because they make her look cute.)

The app is called “I am”. What it does is sends you positive affirmations several times a day and you say them out loud. You can do custom affirmations or whatever you want. I did a mix because I’m all over the place. I was an on the fence believer about stuff like this, but I tell you what. I feel a lot better and stress is not making me its bitch anymore. Even problems that I can’t fix now aren’t really killing me. It’s like having a leprechaun in your pocket. You don’t rub him for lucky charms, but he does pop up and say really great things in your ear. Then, you realize that life is worth living.

And all of a sudden, you’re adulting.

It’s this app called “I am” and it really is.



Tracy Cross

Tracy Cross is a writer of horror stories, loves disco and is from Cleveland, Ohio. She wants you to buy her first book, “Rootwork” in November of this year.