A Eulogy of Adulthood

There’s always a teary moment whenever I have to come back to Jakarta after a brief or long stay at my hometown. It’s always hard to say goodbye to my parents, relatives and neighbours at home. Jakarta is my second home, indeed. But my actual home is with my beloved family in Karanganyar. No one could ever replace them in my heart.

One thing that rescues me from overly sad is reminding myself that I am a breadwinner of my family. Remembering that my parents can’t work anymore somehow prevents me from feeling overly mellow. When I was a teenager, I felt so low about myself because of lack of money. We were poor at that time that my mother had to borrow a big amount of money for financing my and my sister’s studies.

Up to now, our family has to work hard. There are always sudden, important matters that require, well, mostly, money. For instance, two months after being accepted as a full-time employee, my father was rushed to a hospital. He was suffering from a heart attack. Alhamdulillah, he is recovering. He is gradually returning to his routine, walking around some blocks around our house.

On the other hand, I have to cover his health check-up because our health insurance (BPJS) doesn’t cover the fee. Sure enough, I don’t complaint about this. On the contrary, I am grateful that I have to work hard for this (not for the disease, of course). I’m thankful that the limited financial constraint forces me to spend my money wisely.

As I grow older, I feel being a responsible person is such a blessing. With tons of responsibilities in front of my eyes, like it or not, I have to leave mundane tasks or prolong my pleasant activities.

In a larger extent, (attempting) to be a responsible one is stripping away from unimportant thoughts, opinions, activities or desires. Being a responsible person is part of becoming an adult. As you reach this stage, sometimes you may get scared. I still remember, when I was in my 20s, working for my family was such a burden. I often said to myself at that time, I felt like I was carrying a whole world upon my shoulders. Of course, that was too much, LOL!

But as I have been accustomed to the responsibility, I am thankful because I am forced to be a real adult. And lately, I realize that’s how Allah swt drags me closer to Him.

I got this inspiration from reading phenomenon in social media, especially Instagram. I didn’t know why that at least in some Western countries, I spotted on #adulting or #adulthood. Later, some writers touched the issues on their writings. I’m a bit confused because adulthood is something that should actually be embraced. Yes, I know, that’s easier said than done. And frankly speaking, sometimes it’s hard to be an adult, especially when I am now an English teacher.

Working as an educator reminds me so much about the role parents must act out. You have to be extra patient to share information for your students. You have to study twice or three times harder before teaching them for a subject that you already master. Whenever I feel low, I think about the pact that I make to myself that I’m doing my best for carrying out this responsibility.

Remembering my actual age, which is 36, often successfully slaps on my face whenever I’m about to force my opinions to others. It would be too shallow to think I would be officially smart whenever my stance overpowers another’s.

Lastly, being an adult means I have to keep logic and emotion at a balance. This is quite hard for a sensitive and overthinker person as I am. Sometimes, feeling surpasses logic but as I realize how dreadful that is, I work on making the two elements equal.

Becoming an adult is daunting, sometimes, but it will feel stupid to behave like a kid when you realize you can be one.

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