Best of the Hashtag Unsuccessful Adulting


If someone were to ask my what my greatest accomplishment was I do not say ‘finishing my Master’s Degree’, ‘doing five Bikram Yoga classes in one day’ or ‘eating 5 rounds of All-You-Can-Eat Sushi’.

No, no.

I answer that I once made up a hashtag based on my personal failings as a grown up.


I came up with term ‘unsuccessful adulting’ based on the verb ‘Adulting’, which is the name of a blog (and a book) written by Kelly Williams Brown: cute redhead and grown up extraordinaire. I have followed her blog for years and it and its book taught me many a thing about adulting.

But in some things I just remain the worst grown up. This is my unsuccessful adulting as of late (or in general):

  • I wore my contacts in opposite eyes for a week. My wonky eyesight annoyed me to no end, but it was only after a week that I went “huh wait a second what’s left and what’s right again” and fixed it.
  • I had garlic pasta for breakfast.
  • I went to bed at 9 PM. Two nights in a row.
  • I went to bed at 8 PM. ON A FRIDAY. ALONE.
  • I don’t always look in the mirror in the morning. Sometimes I jump into pants, a shirt and out the door. So I sometimes sit in the subway and in my office with either remains of breakfast or toothpaste on my face.
  • No dinner, two dinners, chocolate for dinner, a banana for dinner. Questionable dinner choices across the board.
  • Always leaving my toothbrush in someone else’s bathroom wherever I sleep over.
  • Saying “thanks, you too” to the Starbucks barista when they hand me my latte with “enjoy your drink”
  • Having two bulking drawers full of socks, with about a 10% match rate.
  • Wearing two big sweaters on top of each other because cold and /care.
  • Discovering an entire forgotten wardrobe on the drying rack or in the laundry basket. …Or in the washing machine…WET.
  • Watching Let’s Plays on YouTube because I’m too inapt to work game console controllers with my horrible eye-hand coordination and motor skills.
  • When I’m reading on my iPhone or iPad it sometimes slips out of my hands and hits me right in the face.

Because I have hilarious unsuccessful adulting blog friends, I asked them for their best unsuccessful adulting behavior:

  • Singing Muse songs as lullabies because I don’t know any kid songs – Dionne.

(Author’s note: Um, excuse you, that is #successfulparenting) 

  • Having cheese for dinner. Just cheese. Like, a slice of cheese. – Dionne.
  • Playing CandyCrush at a conference – Rosa.
  • Candycrush in general. – Dionne
  • Wanting to go to bed early but ending up playing CandyCrush for two hours. – Dionne
  • Reinstalling CandyCrush so that you have five lives again. – Dionne

(Author’s Note: I now know more about CandyCrush than I ever wanted to know.) 

  • Having no matching underwear ever. – Dionne.
  • Having a wine night with a friend and waking up on the floor next to a bag of Doritos. – Rosa.

(Author’s Note: Been there, done that, except I woke up next to Cheetos. What can I say? I was on exchange.) 

  • Never having cleaned my car. I’ve had it for three years.  – Dionne
  • Hiding in the bathroom at a networking event. – Rosa
  • Having no idea how to clean windows. – Dionne
  • Having breakfast, lunch and dinner with chocolate. – Laura
  • Going to the supermarket in your pyjamas. Just wear a coat and nobody knows. – Laura
  • Taking out the trash in my onesie. – Dionne


I asked my Instagram followers for suggestions. Came to the conclusion we all need professional help, Jesus, interventions and several cleaning ladies.

  • Having fruit flies in the kitchen. In JANUARY. – Legumo.
  • Buying underwear when you run out of clean ones. – Legumo.
  • Lighting a scented candle when I don’t feel like cleaning bunny pee. – Iris
  • Knowing that there has a moldy tangerine on the microwave for 3 weeks now and yet feeling no urge to throw it away whatsoever – Iris.
  • Eating unhealthy stuff and hiding the packages somewhere in the garbage so significant other doesn’t notice. – Lisette.
  • Loudly singing to Britney Spears and almost bumping into the car in front of us. – @bolletje 
  • Having lunch with two mini egg rolls and some cheese balls because out of groceries. – Milou.
  • Not wanting to iron a blouse so throwing it back into the laundry basket. – Lin
  • Getting in the train I just stepped out of. – Shirah
  • Having plastic containers in the fridge with left overs and then throwing them after three weeks. – Nikki.
  • Having to buy new ear phones all the time because they get tangled up when I carelessly throw them somewhere in my bag. – miss_upstairs

…And then there was some real talk.

Like “I have a house, husband and a baby but I don’t feel like an adult at all and when things go wrong I just want to hide under blanket and drink wine.” (the person who came up with the idea for this article).

And “the more responsibilities I get, the more I want to hide at my parents’ or under my bed. But I get up anyway and deal with the stress and nerves that go along with adulthood.” (person who is strong as hell and wrote a fucking book)

Truth time?

I think nobody feels like an adult. At least, not all of the time.  Many of us feel like we’re shams from time to time. And that’s okay. Part of growing up, and going out of our comfort zone, I think.

Besides, how successful of an adult do we really need to be anyway.

I may not be the most together of a person, but I’m happy and have a reasonably well functioning life. Even if there’s crumbs on my chin and I have no matching socks. Or underwear.

Now, Self Help Hipster readers, you’re up: Sharing is caring. Make us unsuccessful adults feel better about ourselves.

Tell us your unsuccessful adulting in the comments, or share them with the hashtag #unsuccessfuladulting on Instagram or Twitter.

Written by SHH