If you were born in the 80s or 90s, the prospect of “adulthood" is ever on the horizon. But when do you officially cross the river Hades and begin the concurrent numerical-ascent and physical-descent into its imminent grasp?
Well, just like its younger sibling “puberty," this next stage of our lives can vary from person to person. But the telltale signs that you've reached the adulting threshold are there.
Ironically, there are 30 of them, and they're listed below.
"You literally just stop caring. Especially about what others think."30 Signs You're an Adult… Or in Denial About It
1. You've fallen asleep in full makeup and clothing on a Saturday night.
With the lights on.
2. Your new [vacuum cleaner] is your favorite purchase of the year so far.
Feel free to substitute: blender, knife set, steamer, space heater, or pots-and-pans here.
If you're an Adult-in-Denial (AiD): a PlayStation console.
3. You've napped in your car on your lunch break to recover from a night out.
And have a strategy (like a blanket or hoodie left in your back seat) to do so more effectively.
4. You smile when they ask for your ID at a bar.
Instead of silently rehearsing your fake birthday and birthplace.
“Millie Thompson, June 3rd, 1986… I mean 1987."
5. You treat your pet like your child… because all of your friends have children.
Everyone knows someone in daycare.
6. The definition of “Coke" changes from a soda to a drug, or vice-versa.
But you need at least one of them to stay awake these days.
7. Your idea of “recreational drugs" are now just prescription drugs for which you have no prescription.
And you're old enough to have binge-watched “Intervention" when it was still on the air.
8. You floss. Like, daily. Sometimes even at work.
And are shameless when your coworkers walk in on you doing it
9. You pay extra to shop online from your couch rather than interact with humans.
And refuse to order anything on Amazon that's not Prime. #FreeShippingOrBust
10. You've caught yourself discussing the economy and real estate markets at parties… with people who are willing and interested.
There was probably a cheese plate involved. Even though you tell people you're “lactose intolerant."
11. You literally just stop caring. Especially about what others think.
And choose to live in a world where “sweatpants" are just called “pants."
12. Espresso makes you poop within the hour.
You also have a list of other natural laxatives lying around your place.
13. You actually get ready for bed, and make sure you get enough sleep to function the next day.
Refer to item #3 for what happens if you don't get your full eight hours.
19. The word “Colonoscopy" suddenly enters your vocabulary.
And you've probably found reviews and Groupons for the best place to get one done.
14. You no longer count the free snacks at work as a “full meal."
And have voiced a strong opinion on which foods they keep in stock. Because you've probably “developed an intolerance" to one of the ingredients, and want everyone to be aware of it.
15. You always bring a dish or drink with you when you visit a friend's place.
You used to wonder who shopped at your local grocery store bakery. Now, you bring festive cookies everywhere you go.
16. You start calling your friend's parents by their first names, instead of Mr./Mrs.
And they're now comfortable sharing what was really going on in your neighborhood, especially during birthday parties.
17. It takes you 2 hours to get drunk... and 2 days to recover.
But by now you've mastered the science experiment of hydration + electrolytes + active charcoal to avoid the inevitable hangover.
18. You buy ice cream whenever you want… and can afford to pay for the good stuff.
Most likely on a Friday night to complement your Netflix date and lack of fucks.
"You realize that you can no longer do math without a calculator."
20. You've injured yourself while simply sleeping or stretching.
On numerous, separate occasions. Like when you “bent over wrong to tie your shoe" last week.
21. You now refer to it as “adult" acne.
Subliminally, of course.
22. You no longer share one Netflix account with everyone you know.
But most likely have to keep instructing your parents on how to use it.
23. You pay your taxes on-time. Without your parents reminding you.
Though you might call them for advice just in case.
24. You realize that you can no longer do math without a calculator.
And have forgotten literally everything else they taught you in middle school. How do you even use a protractor in real life?
25. You drive around nice neighborhoods just to admire houses from the outside.
Just like your parents did before you.
26. You find random dark hairs on your face and body.
Which you pay other people good money to deal with removing.
27. You pride yourself on upgrading from shopping at Forever 21 to Zara.
Although you're “Forever 21" at heart… am I right
28. You find ways to justify “sleeping" and “eating" as hobbies.
Yelp is not an activity people. But is sleep?
29. You seriously get down with meditation.
And have probably fallen asleep once or twice while doing it.
30. You realize you're not what you “thought you would be when you grew up."
And there's no more time to do something about it.
Women of the Middle East have made significant strides in the past decade in a number of sectors, but huge gaps remain within the labor market, especially in leadership roles.
A huge number of institutions have researched and quantified trends of and obstacles to the full utilization of females in the marketplace. Gabriela Ramos, is the Chief-of-Staff to The Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), an alliance of thirty-six governments seeking to improve economic growth and world trade. The OECD reports that increasing participation in the women's labor force could easily result in a $12 trillion jump in the global GDP by the year 2025.
To realize the possibilities, attention needs to be directed toward the most significantly underutilized resource: the women of MENA—the Middle East and North African countries. Educating the men of MENA on the importance of women working and holding leadership roles will improve the economies of those nations and lead to both national and global rewards, such as dissolving cultural stereotypes.
The OECD reports that increasing participation in the women's labor force could easily result in a $12 trillion jump in the global GDP by the year 2025.
In order to put this issue in perspective, the MENA region has the second highest unemployment rate in the world. According to the World Bank, more women than men go to universities, but for many in this region the journey ends with a degree. After graduating, women tend to stay at home due to social and cultural pressures. In 2017, the OECD estimated that unemployment among women is costing some $575 billion annually.
Forbes and Arabian Business have each published lists of the 100 most powerful Arab businesswomen, yet most female entrepreneurs in the Middle East run family businesses. When it comes to managerial positions, the MENA region ranks last with only 13 percent women among the total number of CEOs according to the Swiss-based International Labor Organization (ILO.org publication "Women Business Management – Gaining Momentum in the Middle East and Africa.")
The lopsided tendency that keeps women in family business—remaining tethered to the home even if they are prepared and capable of moving "into the world"—is noted in a report prepared by OECD. The survey provides factual support for the intuitive concern of cultural and political imbalance impeding the progression of women into the workplace who are otherwise fully capable. The nations of Algeria, Tunisia, Morocco, Libya, Jordan and Egypt all prohibit gender discrimination and legislate equal pay for men and women, but the progressive-sounding checklist of their rights fails to impact on "hiring, wages or women's labor force participation." In fact, the report continues, "Women in the six countries receive inferior wages for equal work… and in the private sector women rarely hold management positions or sit on the boards of companies."
This is more than a feminist mantra; MENA's males must learn that they, too, will benefit from accelerating the entry of women into the workforce on all levels. Some projections of value lost because women are unable to work; or conversely the amount of potential revenue are significant.
Elissa Freiha, founder of Womena, the leading empowerment platform in the Middle East, emphasizes the financial benefit of having women in high positions when communicating with men's groups. From a business perspective it has been proven through the market Index provider MSCI.com that companies with more women on their boards deliver 36% better equity than those lacking board diversity.
She challenges companies with the knowledge that, "From a business level, you can have a potential of 63% by incorporating the female perspective on the executive team and the boards of companies."
Freiha agrees that educating MENA's men will turn the tide. "It is difficult to argue culturally that a woman can disconnect herself from the household and community." Her own father, a United Arab Emirates native of Lebanese descent, preferred she get a job in the government, but after one month she quit and went on to create Womena. The fact that this win-lose situation was supported by an open-minded father, further propelled Freiha to start her own business.
"From a business level, you can have a potential of 63% by incorporating the female perspective on the executive team and the boards of companies." - Elissa Frei
While not all men share the open-mindedness of Freiha's dad, a striking number of MENA's women have convincingly demonstrated that the talent pool is skilled, capable and all-around impressive. One such woman is the prominent Sheikha Lubna bint Khalid bin Sultan Al-Qasimi, who is currently serving as a cabinet minister in the United Arab Emirates and previously headed a successful IT strategy company.
Al-Qasimi exemplifies the potential for MENA women in leadership, but how can one example become a cultural norm? Marcello Bonatto, who runs Re: Coded, a program that teaches young people in Turkey, Iraq and Yemen to become technology leaders, believes that multigenerational education is the key. He believes in the importance of educating the parent along with their offspring, "particularly when it comes to women." Bonatto notes the number of conflict-affected youth who have succeeded through his program—a boot camp training in technology.
The United Nations Women alongside Promundo—a Brazil-based NGO that promotes gender-equality and non-violence—sponsored a study titled, "International Men and Gender Equality Survey of the Middle East and North Africa in 2017."
This study surveyed ten thousand men and women between the ages of 18 and 59 across both rural and urban areas in Egypt, Lebanon, Morocco and the Palestinian Authority. It reports that, "Men expected to control their wives' personal freedoms from what they wear to when the couple has sex." Additionally, a mere one-tenth to one-third of men reported having recently carried out a more conventionally "female task" in their home.
Although the MENA region is steeped in historical tribal culture, the current conflict of gender roles is at a crucial turning point. Masculine power structures still play a huge role in these countries, and despite this obstacle, women are on the rise. But without the support of their nations' men this will continue to be an uphill battle. And if change won't come from the culture, maybe it can come from money. By educating MENA's men about these issues, the estimated $27 trillion that women could bring to their economies might not be a dream. Women have been empowering themselves for years, but it's time for MENA's men to empower its women.