Adult Fantasy: searching for true maturity in an age of mortgages, marriages, and other adult milestones
‘I pictured myself a wine-dark streak in a TV desert, ears too full of the summer wind to hear that ominous ticking in the sky: the sound of a cultural clock counting me out of youth.’
Briohny Doyle turned thirty without a clear idea of what her adult life should look like. The world she lived in — with its global economic uncertainty, political conservatism, and precarious employment conditions — didn’t match the one her parents grew up in. She read article after article about the reluctance of millennials to embrace the traditional markers of adulthood: a stable job, a house in the suburbs, a nuclear family. But do these emblems of maturity mean the same thing today as they did thirty years ago?
In this smart, spirited enquiry, Doyle examines whether millennials are redefining what it means to be an adult now. Blending personal essay and cultural critique, she ventures into the big claims of philosophy and the neon buzz of pop culture to ask: in a rapidly changing world, do the so-called adult milestones distract us from other measures of maturity?