This article was published by Going Down Swinging on July 22, 2015.
Somewhere between our mid-teens and 20 is the age most people start thinking about what kind of adult they want to be. For a lot of us, that means coming up with a list of red lines we are determined we will not cross.
And then life happens.
In the 1920s, Swiss psychologist Jean Piaget came up with cognitive and moral development theories. He found that by about the ages of 15 or 20 we move from adolescence into adulthood. Essentially, Piaget says this is the time in life when we stop viewing things in concrete terms, and develop the ability to adjust our beliefs according to our experiences. Many of our rules for adulthood make sense in theory, fewer hold up in practice, and others are just downright unachieveable. The difficulty is understanding what our teenage selves had right about navigating the murky waters of life, and what was just sweet naivety. How do we know what to let go under the steamroller of adulthood, and what should we cling to?