My mother became a mom at the age I am now.
By my age my mother went to university, had one job, and lived in one country - one that experienced such immense growth that it became a Harvard case study on how to be an 'export economy' the right way.
In the same lifespan, I've lived in 3 separate countries, worked in 3 different career fields, competed athletically at an international level and been to over 30 cities in the world. Not a contest but in the realm of experience, I was more fortunate.
Yet I know, if I became a father right now, I can't confidently say I'd know what the hell I was doing; which led me to think that my mother probably had no idea what she was doing when she became a mom. I actually asked her this to confirm and it was indeed accurate. This generally seems to be the norm for those in the Baby Boomer/Gen Y era.
Growing up I thought my parents knew everything and their way was probably right.
Then you hit the age they were at and realize: Everyone's just making shit up as they go.
I do not believe an individual's path to maturity for decision making comes with age. But rather, experience.
Advice from experiential wisdom is valuable. As my parents continue to accumulate experiences of their own I can see their advice increase in value as they get to experience things I won't get to or even may not want to. Yet, as I accumulate my own set of experiences and learn to think for myself it becomes ever so clear that all their views and advice should be applied with judgment and not as gospel. Because the person giving you that advice will not be able to experience the same ever-evolving environment you'll live through.
It's hard to take comfort in the fact that everyone is just making shit up as we go. There are no playbooks. No instruction manuals to follow or cheat codes.
'Adulting' is not real. Just a societal construct imposed by others. Governmental regulations of 18+ being an adult is just nonsense. You don't miraculously achieve a new state of mind at a set age. The mind continues to evolve and compound knowledge through learning and experience. If you do neither, then your mind will stay uncultivated and infantile even at a numerically large age. I mean, the amount of vomit I see on the streets on Saturday morning is just proof of the latter.
I'd actually say "adulting" and "growing up" are used as the proverbial crutch to make-up for people's fear and laziness leading to inaction on things they should be doing.
Seriously, just cut the shit and admit doing what you're passionate in just isn't a priority for you.
"Growing up" is supposed to indicate a growth in mindset on the proverbial path to wisdom. If so, then "doing things you don't like, to please people you don't care for, to earn money to buy things you don't need, to impress people who won't even show up to your funeral" shouldn't fit the definition of "growing up".
Yet, most that speak of "growing up" follow that particular pattern.
Here's another pattern: "staying up late to spend money you earned while doing the things you hate to buy things that let you forget who you are as a trade-off for ruining your health so you can wake up the next day having wasted time you could never get back not even being able to remember the time you also spent trying to forget about all the other times you spent making the money you needed to do all that." This does not sound "wise".
I've done both of these too and it's a great reminder to me that I'm still trying to dial back the idiocy and cross over to the side of wisdom.
Being an "adult" is just a giant excuse to do or not do something.
Just own up to the choices you are making with honesty.
Accept there are no adults so you can grab your own life by the balls/ovaries and take ownership of everything.
We're all making shit up as we go. That's okay. In finance, they commonly tell you to run away from the fella who tells you they know what will happen to the stock market next. Obviously. No one can predict the future.
Same goes for everyone. I've never been 26 before. It's new.
Even Charlie Munger said this in reference to aging and running Berkshire Hathaway with Warren Buffet:
No governmental age should tell you what you should do going forward. Just because you came out of university and everyone around you stopped learning doesn't mean you should too.
Just know there are no adults and we're all just making things up as we go. Just be intentional and deliberate in the actions you choose to take. Thinking seems to be the most under-used skill