A somewhat new buzzword you’re probably hearing about all the time is adulting, which, according to Urban Dictionary (always the most reliable resource, I say with much sarcasm), means to carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals (paying off that credit card debt, settling beef without blasting social media, etc). Exclusively used by those who adult less than 50% of the time.

In effect, adult is now a verb, and it’s apparently used by those who don’t adult all that well. Back when I turned 18, I was shocked upon realizing that I was legally an adult, and it took over 10 years for me to truly feel as though I was an adult, which made sense because when I was 18, I had completed none of the typical markers of adulthood. Those have historically been (I don’t know if they are in order or if they ought to be in order): (1) finishing school (I assume that means college in today’s society), (2) leaving one’s parents’ home, (3) getting married, (4) having children, and (5) becoming financially independent.

By those markers, I’m not sure that very many people aged 18 to 30 are fully fledged adults at all. Based on those markers, I’m still not a “full” adult, despite being legally an adult for more than 10 years. And by that logic, people who never have children for whatever reason never become true adults, which is silly.

I suppose the people who popularized the word adulting have not completed all five of the traditional markers of adulthood, and perhaps they feel bad about that. So menial tasks like taking out the trash when it’s overflowing and getting an oil change for the car become a Super Big Deal and an Important Aspect of Adulthood (i.e., *Gasp* I Feel Like My Mom! What a Horror!).

Are people in my generation really that lazy and really have such low self-esteem that small tasks like that become huge milestones? Or perhaps because those five milestones are extremely difficult to accomplish in today’s economy? I tend to agree with the latter. Many millennials came of age during the Great Recession and are still finding it difficult to rebound from that. Finishing school is tough when you can’t pay for it because college is outrageously expensive. Becoming financially independent is tough when you have student loans and you don’t have a decent job because you haven’t finished school because college is outrageously expensive. Leaving your parents’ house is tough because you don’t have the money to afford an apartment or a house of your own, again because you don’t have a decent job. Finding a significant other and getting married are tough because it’s hard as hell to find someone decent these days, especially when much of modern dating consists of crapshoots like Tinder. Having kids is tough because, well, if you have kids (and if you don’t), you know why.

So those five are pretty huge milestones, and adulting seems to be a term that we (i.e., millennials) use to prove to others that we are taking steps (however small) toward those milestones and not just sitting around being lazy like everyone claims that we are. Maybe it’s a bit tongue-in-cheek, but even if we’re not “true” adults, we have a sense of humor at least.

Journal Review: Peter Pauper Press

Usually, I don’t buy super-fancy journals and for good reason: my handwriting sucks, and I don’t want to ruin a gorgeous journal with sub-par handwriting. The secondary reason I don’t buy them is because they’re often too expensive, and the tertiary reason I don’t buy them is because I think it’s a little pretentious to have a really fancy journal, like your thoughts are somehow super awesome and worthy of being kept in lovely binding and paper.

But my husband bought me this journal designed by Peter Pauper Press (I believe he actually bought it at Barnes & Noble):

It is easily the most beautiful journal I have ever owned. It’s bound like a book, which means it is very sturdy, and it has a ribbon bookmark—always helpful. The pages look like they are trimmed with gold, which has that pretentiousness factor to it, but I had to ignore that. After all, the worst type of journal is one that’s been sitting around your house for years waiting to be written in, so it would be a terrible sin to not write in this one. The journal isn’t too large and isn’t too small (6.25″ wide and 8.25″ high), so it’s not a pain to carry around in your purse, briefcase, or backpack.

At first, I thought the binding would be stiff and make it difficult to write in, but that thankfully wasn’t the case. The journal stays flat when it’s opened, so you can write in comfort. I prefer spiral binding or some other binding that will allow a journal to be folded over, but lying flat is the next best thing.

The only thing I could think of to complain about were the two gold pages used after the front cover and before the back cover. The gold rubbed off onto the last journal page a little bit, but that’s an extremely small complaint.

Would I buy another one? No, but I would give one to a fellow writer as a gift. Would I use another one if another was given to me? Heck yeah.

The Wonder of Being Different

This post may contain SPOILERS.

Wonder is a lovely movie that hit theaters at the end of 2017, which was a turbulent, hate-filled year for many. Watching Wonder will help you remember that not everyone in the world is evil and bigoted, and it will give you hope. It’s based on a children’s/middle-grade novel by R.J. Palacio, and it follows Auggie Pullman’s journey from home school to a private middle school. Auggie has Treacher Collins syndrome, a genetic disorder that is characterized by facial deformities. Kids in middle school are needlessly cruel, so naturally, they all pick on Auggie without seeing who he really is: a courageous and intelligent young man.

Warning: Wonder is a tearjerker. Do not watch it without having tissues close by. Somehow the writers and director also managed to make it a tearjerker without making it corny or cheesy. They also divided the movie into several viewpoints, so we get the other characters’ perspective on being the sibling, friend, or parent of Auggie.

I have very little to complain about with this movie. My only issue with it is that the Pullman family’s dog, Daisy, was put to sleep close to the end, and I don’t see what that really had to do with the plot except to emphasize the fact that life still happens when you’re fixated on your own issues. I also believe that was part of the movie’s message (aside from the obvious anti-bullying theme): Life doesn’t revolve around you. When you think your problems are insurmountable, there is always someone who has bigger problems, and there is always something to focus on aside from your own problems. It’s a good message for the self-focused world we live in.

tl;dr: If you want something different from the gazillions of superhero movies and don’t mind shedding a few tears, you will love Wonder.