When (and why) was it decided that nouns were acceptable verbs?
“I’ll message you”
“We’re sooo #twinning!”
Most of my friends and I are in the same stage of life: single, just out of college and living on our own. Most of our parents never went through this period of striking out on one’s own, because as recently as the last generation — especially in Christian circles — it was standard for a girl to finish high school, maybe go to college, then live with her parents until she got married. She was always around other people, and there was usually a male figure in her life helping to make decisions.
Now, though, it is very likely you know a single girl living in some apartment somewhere by herself, just working and waiting until Mr. Right comes along (if he ever does). It’s a wonderful advancement in society that I can earn decent enough wages to live on my own, but I definitely feel like something is missing. And my friends notice it too. Because we’ve inadvertently formed our own support system, and that support system is based on one word: Adulting.
If you’re not familiar with this term, let me give you an example. This conversation happened between BFF#2 and me just two days ago (via snapchat, because we’re not that much of adults):
BFF: “We’re making food, because we’re adults.” (alongside a picture of delicious-looking chicken stuff)
Jules: “Um. Yum. I should do that.”
BFF: “Yes, eating is generally a good thing to do.”
Jules: “I mean, I had a cheese puff and oreos today…” <- which were DELICIOUS, by the way.
BFF: “Not real food. Go make food now.”
Jules: “Fine. Leftover potato soup because I’m a lazy butt.” (Alongside a picture of said soup. Because proof.)
BFF: “Leftovers are acceptable = still real food.”
BFF: “Well done.”
Okay so there’s nothing terribly exciting about this exchange (Except that cheese puff. Ohmygoodness it was delectable, and it was a dollar, and it was from the Swamp Rabbit Cafe if you want to check them out. Which you should.), but let me point out the important bits:
- She snapped me about dinner, a completely average, everyday sort of thing.
- It was 6pm and I hadn’t eaten anything substantial that day.
- And I wasn’t planning on it until she strongly encouraged me to do so.
- I actually responded my acquiescence.
- And she congratulated me.
Now I don’t know about you, but shouldn’t I be able to do something as basic as make and eat dinner without provocation? Because let me tell you, this wasn’t the first time. And lest you think I’m the only needy one, I once spent an entire day strongly encouraging BFF#2 to get out of bed and do something with her life. It was hilarious, and only partially successful. You can only do so much via snapchat from 700 miles away.
But yes, I enjoy making and eating food, yet some days I need a reason to get up and do it. When you have a family, they are your reason. I don’t mind doing my laundry, but often I need someone to remind me that, “yes, Jules, you need to fold the laundry, too.” I can clean out my car. I can go to the doctor. I can call the insurance agent. But on my own it all just seems so… lifeless.
Isn’t it true that the most mundane things can become adventures when you have someone to share them with? But the mundane things become insurmountable peaks when you have no one to share them with. Sure, to some extent I get personal satisfaction out of successfully going grocery shopping or to the gym or to the dentist, but honestly I’d rather be spending my time either doing something I enjoy, or something that benefits other people. And if I think about that fact too often, I’ll probably skip the gym the next day.
The Bible has something to say about this:
Romans 12:15 “Rejoice with those who rejoice; weep with those who weep.”
Okay so maaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaybe it’s not full-out rejoicing to give a thumbs-up when BFF#1 fills out a job application — but it’s sympathizing, encouraging, and building her up that “yes! That was a good thing! Do it again!”
In addition to the simple things, sometimes we have to do stuff that we just plain don’t understand. Medical insurance? Not my forte. Taxes? Bank accounts? Fixing my car? Cleaning my house? I frequently need to ask for help on all of these, and for some reason it’s less embarrassing to ask someone in the same stage of life as me than an adultier adult, even if they don’t know the answer. Because asking my friend also in a way makes me feel like I’m helping her. Because either she knows it, or you figure out the answer together. Then they’re more likely to come ask my advice on the next standard life issue. I feel like I have nothing to offer well-established adults, so getting help from a fellow millenial is just a more reciprocal relationship.
We all need encouragement just to continue the mundane and hard stuff of daily life. Married couples get that encouragement mostly at home. I don’t have a husband, but this isn’t a desperate cry for one, because I’ve already filled this specific gap (please do not be concerned: I know this is not the only reason for a husband, merely one of the many facets). My friends and I, we know that we can text/message/snap/call at any time about #adulting, and instantly we get it. We’ve been there. We’re there now. We’ll be there tomorrow, probably. And in our network of encouragement, life becomes just a little more pleasant.