Welcome to Adulthood

50 First Dates, Date #4: The Words She Knows, The Tune She Hums

Sometimes people come into your life for only a brief moment in time to serve a very specific purpose – to learn (or teach) a lesson.

I’ve encountered a few people over the years who have twinkled briefly in and out of my life: My friends from my study abroad program in Spain, whose kindness and adventuring spirit inspired in me a zest for life and travel. Or, a reclusive neighbor in my apartment building in San Francisco who randomly gifted my roommate and I with beautiful plants and some really nice furniture accompanied by a simple note that read, “Pay it Forward.”

My date with “New York” last night was one of those moments in time.

As you may remember from Dates 1 and 2, New York also just got out of a very long relationship right about the same time as I did. I think what happens sometimes after a relationship (and I think it can be a relationship of any length), is that we lose sight of our own awesomeness. Think about it, a relationship is pretty all-encompassing (though, I think it is always important to retain your own sense of independence even if you are in a relationship for continued self-growth.) If the relationship doesn’t bring out the very best in each person – and if your partner doesn’t really think you are the very best – it becomes hard to remember what “the very best” parts about you are anyway.

Some of “the very best” parts of me were dimmed in my old relationship, and I think that was also very much the case for New York. After years of being dimmed, what we both needed was some good laughs, good conversation, good food and drinks, and a dimly lit piano bar where the entire bar joins in on the chorus of “Tiny Dancer” in true Almost Famous-fashion.

And what was great about Date #4 was that we were able to remind each other that we are both pretty awesome, and we have a lot of great things to offer to the world.

And tomorrow he moves to New York. And with that a moment in time has ended, but with a really valuable lesson learned.

New York Friend, thank you for twinkling into my life. May we both shine on.

Photo via The Dream Sky on Flickr.

50 First Dates: Date #3 and a Post-Valentine’s Guest Blog

Since I am now the Taylor Swift of blogging, I have to mention my Date #3, but I am cautious as I write this blog entry. Why? Because Date #3 was actually really pretty great and I don’t want to jinx it. In fact, the date was so fun (and really an easy ‘date’ vibe, which is also nice), and the guy was so dreamy, that I think it is going to set a new standard for my remaining 47 dates/suitors!

So, in lieu of spilling the beans on Bachelor #2 (for now), I am going to introduce a guest post for our 50 First Dates series. It is nice to have a male perspective on the subject of dating, and I am always amused by guest author Luke Williams’ tales. (Remember his other great guest blogs, like this one and this one?) Enjoy!

Honesty: Not Always the Best Policy?

 The Post-Valentine’s Day  Edition

By Luke Williams

Adults are complex beings with a variety of experiences and lessons learned from pre-school to today. Playing fair, not hurting others, and knowing how to say sorry are integral beliefs of my day-to-day life. So how do you approach someone who seems to have forgotten such basic social skills from his or her kindergarten years? Normally, I do my best to avoid that group, but what to do when you discover your significant other falls into the category?
This is a question that has been nagging me since February 14, 2011 – Valentine’s Day, which just so happens to be our case study for this blog.

After polling a variety of friends on the appropriate Valentine’s Day gift for a girlfriend of just barely three weeks, I settled on flowers and dinner. Nice flowers, a bouquet of multi-colored daisies, but still just flowers. Didn’t want to say too much with the gift, and also didn’t want to ignore the pseudo-significance of the day (could probably devote an entire post to the detailed conversations of scaling relationship seriousness to appropriate gift level). I prepared the dinner through my own kitchen prowess.
Mid-way through preparing the meal I turned to her and asked if she liked the flowers. I smiled, prepared to hear a, “Yes. Thank you. They were great!” Instead, I got a kick in the pants from her actual response of, “No. You realize they weren’t organic?” followed by a lecture on the evils of slave labor, importing flowers, and dangerous pesticides.
In under ten minutes my gift to her was transformed into support of seedy South America dictatorships and corporate corruption. (The flowers were actually grown locally in San Diego, FYI).
Unless I’m in a situation where constructive criticism is tantamount for success and growth, I usually adhere to the old adage of  “if you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say anything at all,” and its my thought that most socially capable people do the same. Plus, I’m fairly sure Valentine’s Day is not one of those constructive criticism moments, in fact it could be the worst day for a couple to engage in the activity.
This brings us full-circle to my original question: what course is best when approaching another adult who cannot grasp even the most basic social niceties? Slip a Miss Manners book under her door and hope she takes the hint for her own sake?
Or, should I hold my tongue and let her turn into Catherine Tate\’s Nan?


A huge ‘thank you’ to Luke for regaling us with his tales of dating woes! That really sounds like it should be out of a sitcom! Any fun/funny/bad/awesome date stories you have had in your life? (Let’s keep them PG please, like Miss Taylor Swift does.) Email us!

Until Date #4,



Photo via Txberiu on Flickr.

And They Will See Us Waving From Such Great Heights…

Some people I meet really don’t get blogging. “You blog?” They say to me incredulously. “I do!”
I respond proudly. Their eyes narrow, “What makes you think that your life is that special that people want to read about it?”

Really, I do love my life and I do think it is pretty special (we should all think our lives are special, after all), but I don’t really blog about my life, per se. What I blog about are experiences of adulthood that make us all more interesting: times we laugh so hard we cry (or cry so hard we laugh), challenges we face, awkward moments, tough stuff, lessons we learn, good work we do, people we love. This little community of collective wisdom really represents The Everyadult. And here at Welcome to Adulthood we celebrate all of us.

What I have learned through this kind of “blog scrutiny” is that I am pretty brave for blogging. I have also learned that being comfortable enough in your own skin to allow yourself to be brave, especially in the face of adversity, actually makes you a groovier person.

There was a time in my life when I wasn’t as brave. I was more concerned with how people perceived me than of how I could evolve as a person. When you become an adult you are finally able to embrace/love/adore all that you are, and accept everything you have experienced. And then it actually becomes pretty easy to be brave.

So my bravery is blogging. But yours might be something else – maybe teaching, maybe trying new things, maybe moving to new places, maybe being open to change, maybe making the hard choices, maybe being a good listener, maybe being honest with yourself and others (even when it is very hard), maybe being confident, maybe wearing your heart on your sleeve, maybe finding a spiritual path, maybe being a good friend or partner, maybe standing up for yourself and for others… (…)


Call for Submissions: INHABIT

This Call for Submissions is closed.

Please check back for our next opportunity to submit for the quarterly writing theme. 


Welcome to Adulthood is proud to announce its first official call for submissions of posts inspired by this quarter’s theme, Inhabit occupy; settle (in/on), people, populate, colonize; dwell in/on, reside in/on, tenant, lodge in/on, have one’s home in/on; formal be domiciled in/on, abide in/on.

Submissions can be about anything regarding your reaction or interpretation of the theme Inhabit and how it relates to adulthood. We want to hear about where you live, who you live with, when you moved out of your parents’ house and whether or not you ever moved back, what is the most important thing a first time home buyer should know, what your neighborhood is like, what values/themes/issues you see in the topic of Inhabit, etc.

For submission guidelines, please visit our Submit section. Good luck!

50 First Dates


I am instituting a new segment of my blog called 50 First Dates that will recount the adventures of my new-found singledom, as well as episodes from some of our readers dating escapades. I know Carrie Bradshaw has the market on single-gal dating antics, but the difference is: Carrie Bradshaw is fictional.

Truly, a very large component of adulthood is about relationships. And, as I am sure we all have learned at some point, relationships — be they with friends, or lovers, or colleagues, or family — can be hard. So, it does seem fitting to blog about dating, and to collectively ruminate on how we can learn and grow from each and every new person we meet.

I must say, I am really enjoying being single. The weight of my relationship-woes were so heavy and unspoken for so long that now I literally feel lighter. The burden of self-loathing, self-doubt, and self-sacrifice that comes from an unhappy relationship has been lifted, albeit abruptly.

And with the end of the weight comes the beginning of the lightness.

And I laugh more, I think more, I see more, I write more, I walk more, I smell the ocean with deeper breaths and fuller lungs, I smile when the sky is blue, I sing louder in the shower, I appreciate every moment. (…)

Adulthood is Change

It has been a while since I have updated. Lots of changes have happened to me as of late. I recently found myself single after a very long relationship. I won’t hash out the sad details here. It was just an unfortunate case of: he was not sure that he loved me, but wasn’t sure enough to let me go. Thus, a relationship that went on too long and ended too abruptly.

Adulthood is sometimes about heart break and loss. The goal is how to learn from each experience and grow stronger, brighter, and more whole.

So I find myself moving out of a home and a life that we had spent many happy years building. I pack my books, my wine collection, my picture frames, my clothes — but all I will take with me from this place is my unbreakable capacity to love.

In my upcoming blog posts, I will be experiencing adulthood as a single person. I am committed to living “a life less ordinary” and I intend to take lots of adventures and share all of my learning experiences with you. 

Cheers to new beginnings!


Guest Blog: Dying


by Mim (who blogs at www.saidsally.com)

I have not lived a life close to death. My grandfathers both died before I was 10. My grandmothers each passed away when I was in my 20s, both of them after prolonged and wasting illness. When each of them died, I looked at my parents and wondered: How does it feel when your mom dies? What does that grief look like? In both cases, my parents took their mothers’ deaths with cold stoicism that took me by surprise.

Because I expect something to happen when someone close dies. I expect an earthquake that everyone can feel. I expect boulders to push up from under the surface of the earth and create a monument that will stand forever to commemorate that My Loved One died.

I’m thinking about death because a coworker was killed last week, struck by a car on her walk to work. They say she didn’t suffer, and I hope that’s true.  She was a gentle soul who never – and I mean this truthfully, not in a we’re-saying-good-things-about-her-because-she’s-dead kind of way – never said a bad word about anyone, never got impatient, always made the best of what she had. At least while I was around.

The thing that hits me is, this grief business is all about US – these souls still hanging around in their bodies, feeling things, thinking things, eating things. Grief, I think, isn’t about the person who has “moved on.” It is, of course, about learning to live without someone who you took for granted was alive. (…)  (more…)

The Adulthood Newswire

What other themes and topics about adulthood are being discussed in the blogosphere?

Check out these great reads on pressing topics:

*The New York Times explores whether going to an elite college is worth the cost.

*An unmarried, non-religous 38-year-old women goes to a yenta for matchmaking. Modern Love’s newest post will put you in the spirit of holiday miracles and give you a mini chuckle. And if you haven’t checked out the NYT’s Modern Love column, you are missing out! In fact, Modern Love is one of my inspirations for this blogs — as it is a repository of experiencial narrative about adulthood written by some very talented writers.

*And finally, some Holiday Parenting Tips published in Family Magazine here in San Diego, and republished with permissions on San Diego Center for Children website (the wonderful organization that I work for!) This article is thoughtful even if you don’t have kids, and was written by the Center’s head-honcho psychologist.

Guest Blog: Hungry for Thanksgiving

“Forget all the other bready options on that buffet table and give me the weird-looking celery-studded stuff. So GOOD to get a bite of stuffing, a bite of turkey and gravy, and a bite of cranberry sauce all mixed up together in your mouth!” – Excerpt from Hungry for Thanksgiving

‘Tis the season for guest bloggers!

This holiday season, I am thankful for my amazing group of blog collaborators who continue to inspire and amaze me with their incredible writing abilities, and wonderful stories.

Here’s a guest blogger, the sassy Mim, who gave us a personal perspective on death that was a quiet little blog entry but was packed with meaning and was incredibly moving. I always learn from her (especially lately — on a personal level, Mim is about as wise as they get) and I am so excited and honored to feature her again on Welcome to Adulthood. Did I mention that Mim is about to jump into the world of blogging? Her blog will be launched next week. Stay tuned right here for all the juicy URL details.

I am also excited to feature a guest blog from two of my favorite ladies at 2GirlsonaBench, Tricia and Siana. Stay tuned, because after the holidays we will kick off our first blog in our Inhabit series from two little ladies that you will not be able to get enough of. (Luckily, you can amuse yourself for hours on their blog.)

But for now, enjoy this little diddy courtesy of Mim that is so good you can almost taste it. Happy Thanksgiving!

Hungry for Thanksgiving

by Mim

When I was a kid, my family celebrated Thanksgiving at our church by helping serve a community meal. I don’t know if we ever had a conversation about the great effort to feed the hungry on the holiday that’s all about gluttony and counting blessings. We just showed up, cooked, served, smiled. Seems maybe there should be some great life lessons in there somewhere. But really, for me, Thanksgiving has mostly always been about the food.

Mom would get up early and, following Grampy’s recipe, she’d sauté celery, onions and poultry seasoning in Crisco until the whole house smelled festive and edible. Before we kids had finished our Frosted Flakes, she had stuffed the huge bird and heaved it into the oven. And by the time we arrived to deliver the finished, golden-crisped turkey to the fellowship hall kitchen, we were bouncing off the walls from the anticipation of eating the magnificent thing. (…)


Lessons on Adulthood: November 22

Life is about learning lessons–that is how we keep growing and evolving. Lessons I learned this week involve friendship, relationships, and…shopping!

1) Friends come and go — even friends that you think are kindred spirits. But you see their faults, and you think, “But I am special. They would never do that to me.” And then it happens. A betrayal can be as small and unspoken as a silent phone, an unanswered call, or a secret. But the loss is heavy, the rift is wide. So you try to accept the change, set aside the bitterness, appreciate them for their moment in time, and move on. Call it a lesson learned.

2) Recently, I ventured to Sonoma for a weekend of wine and hibernating for a dear friend’s bachelorette party. One of the days we were there, we drove down Sonoma’s coast to an epic iPod soundtrack and then stopped at a little restaurant for dinner. We had to wait a few minutes for a table, so we stood outside on the patio deck looking at the ocean.

A couple, who appeared to be in their early 50s, was also waiting for a table. We chatted with them a bit about where we were from and why we were in Sonoma. They were vacationing for their 25th wedding anniversary.

“Do you have any advice for the bride-to-be?” I asked them, expecting some cheeky response.

The couple thought for a moment and the woman said: “When you get married, you have fights sometimes, you might disagree, you might even be attracted to another person, but on our wedding day, we made a vow to always choose each other. So, no matter how angry we may be when we go to bed, no matter how stressful life may get, we wake up every day and think ‘I choose you’ and we are happy.” (Note: it is not “I chose you”, it is “I choose you.”)

Then the husband spoke. He had a slight accent which he indicated was because he was born in Israel. He said, “Never hit below the belt. Because hitting below the belt leaves a hole of hurt so big that no amount of apologies can ever fill it. And you can never take the words back.”

Duly noted.

3) And on a lighter note….From Kaitlan, a reader in Arizona, “Adulthood is seeing a pair of boots you want, being able to buy them without devastating your budget, and walking away because it is the season to give.”

(Photo via AlyssaFilmmaker on Flickr.)

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