Today at work someone brought up what it means to be an “adult”. Specifically, how us 90s babies are sucked into the parental vortex of doom and our parents probably will never cope with our imminent maturation. As I thought to myself, this is mostly caused by “a series of unfortunate events” surrounding the early 90s. I’m thinking it mainly had to do with the shift in society and overall views on the family.
For African Americans and other minorities we were still rocking from the effects of the crack era that consumed much of our families and communities from the late 1980s to early 1990s. A combination of males forever lost to the system and females left to fend for themselves, there was no way traditional family roles could be upheld. Adults during this time had to strategically shift and combine their efforts to ensure the children made it out. A real life game of Tetris without fancy colors or chances to restart.
There were also the LA riots and O.J. Simpson trial that directly impacted our communities. With all these events and those in the past, it’s a wonder that we are here today. My family itself was no exclusion from what was happening. As an adult, my mother began raising me by herself, worked a full-time job as a health care manager, I had pneumonia in ’93 that my mom said could have taken my life- the beginning years were just a blur, but how can I be anything but a product of those times?
Our parents history also has a major part to play in this discussion, my mom was an early 60s baby, enough said! They had to deal with events, such as the civil rights movement (that is still being fought today) and the post baby boom that not only solidified the need for family unity, but also local organizations to combat turbulent environments. Adults during this era had to make decisions that could have cost them their lives.
My definition of an adult? Simple. An individual that makes wise choices based on the hand that is dealt. Being an adult is more of a state of mind…
“In any moment of decision, the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing.” -Theodore Roosevelt