Time magazine, ever the cutting-edge publication, has dedicated its cover to people in their twenties and thirties who are taking their time to settle down and have kids. Apparently, the fact that people are marrying at a later age is cause for mainstream navel-gazing. I would link for you, but you need to subsribe to read it. Anyway, here's my response:
As a 28-year old, single urban female it was with great interest that I read LEV GROSSMAN's article Grow Up? Not So Fast. Mainstream journalism has been applying its magnifying glass to our generation for over a decade (fascination with "Gen-X" culture in the mid-1990's being a prime example), and this article is no exception. While Grossman details the process that many of us have undertaken in trying on different careers, partners, places of living, ways of presenting ourselves to the world, his tendency to define adulthood in terms of marriage, mortgages, and children missed the point of this lifestyle entirely. In taking the extra time to find ourselves before marrying and having children, our generation may actually be working to redefine what it means to be an "adult". While the traditional nuclear family used to constitute the definition of adulthood, the experiences highlighted in Grossman's article clearly illustrate a shifting paradigm. Quite simply, the construct is adopting a more fluid, less rigid, and more continuous definition. What else would you expect from a generation raised by the baby boomers, those widely acknowledged for taking traditional societal norms and turning them on their collective ear? Many of the most responsible, self-aware individuals I know are people in their late twenties who are unmarried, and who live in urban communities with strong friendship networks. Some of us grapple with questions regarding career, relationships and children, while many of us also own successful businesses. With parental divorce a reality for so many individuals who are currently coming of age in their twenties, doesn't the desire to explore as many options and lifestyles as possible signify a more modern and current definition of maturity and what it means to be an "adult"?