On Being a Grown Up
Today’s Scintilla prompt: When did you realise you were a grown up? What did this mean for you? Shock to the system? Mourning of halcyon younger days? Or the embracing of the knowledge that you can do all the cool stuff adults do: drink wine, go on parent-free vacations, eat chocolate without reprimand?
The first weekend I was away at college I was still out at midnight having fun with my new friends. I had a fleeting moment where I thought, “Oh no- I forgot to call Dad to tell him I missed curfew!” I was almost tempted to call him in a nostalgic, funny way.
That weekend of freedom in college aside, the first time I truly felt like a grown up was not until May 2010, when I was twenty six. Yes, I’d made a lot of adult decisions before then- deciding where to go grad school, buying a car, deciding between job offers, buying a house- but through all of them, I was still living at home with my parents. I bought my house with my then fiance and didn’t live in it with him until we were married a year later so even though I was a homeowner, I was still feeling like a kid since I was still sleeping in my pastel childhood bedroom.
In May 2010, I was MARRIED. I was a WIFE. Someone in the house had to figure out what to eat for dinner. Someone had to go to the grocery store. One of us had to finally do the laundry, clean the bathroom, mow the lawn. The moment that made me realize what a grownup I was came not so much from the fun things like eating ice cream for dinner ( which I definitely do, especially in the summer) or leaving dishes in the sink for three days, but came with the realization that long gone were the days when the sound of the mailman coming up the front steps to the mailbox was a happy sign of care packages from home or chain letters. Now the mailman brought bills. And student loan payments. And a mortgage. I realized I was a grownup when I woke up early on a Saturday morning not because I had great plans to go out with friends to an amusement park or for a long brunch, but to spend my Saturdays working in the yard or painting my room.
That may sound negative or depressing- but I think it’s the complete opposite ( well minus the bills and student loans). My grown up realization means that I have the things in life I want and that it’s my decision to get up early and do or don’t want to do. Being a grow nup is fun because you get to choose whatever you want!
Hm… good one, Kristen! I think when I moved out of my parents’ house and started having those grown-up responsibilities like paying for utilities and cleaning a house and compromising with another person… that’s when I truly felt like a grown-up! You’re absolutely right.