Growing up is hard to do. Suddenly, life flashes by you at a speed you didn't think possible and you're a grown adult. You didn't see life leave you behind so easily, but it has.
What are the signifiers of being an adult? Does it just mean things become less special, or that you can't ignore certain kinds of responsibility, or that you just don't have any money? What does it all mean?
The Difference Between Can And Should
Couple years ago, in our late 20s, my friends were telling me to buy some semi-expensive item, I can't even remember what, but they knew I could afford it - I hit them with just because you CAN buy something, doesn't mean you SHOULD
They reacted like I was Confucius.
Happy Birthday Mr. PresidentGiphy
22nd birthday. Got home from work. No one was home. No cake or balloons waiting. No family waiting with a birthday dinner.
I just walked to Papa Murphies, got my fav pizza, walked home, and ate alone.
I grew up in a big family. 5 older siblings, aunts and uncles always over. It was the first time I was just alone on my birthday.
Gerroff My Lawn
Pulled up to a Sheetz near the high school I went to in the middle of the afternoon and there were a bunch of HS kids hanging out out front and my first thought was, "why are all these kids just hanging out out here". I was like 25 and felt like I was 65 when I thought that.
When I was 21, I had to get my wisdom teeth out. Went to the surgeon and he said "it will cost 700 if you just get local numbing and 1800 if you want to be knocked out" I thought to myself "well I have no insurance so guess I'm gonna be awake for this one". Felt the doctor rip 3 teeth from my skull, went downstairs where I then paid another 100 for drugs. Went home, went to bed, woke up to discover I had drooled blood all over my pillow. And in the moment I realised I was the one that had to clean it up the distinct thought in my head was "I'm a grown up".
Just In Case
I had graduated University, had a place of my own and a job, and was out doing some shopping. It occurred to me that I could and probably should just go ahead and buy some beer and some cookies - not for any kind of event or occasion, but just so I have them in stock at home. I wasn't planning to go home and drink 10 beers and eat a bag of cookies - I didn't even want either of them that day, I was just living a normal life and thought it would be good to have that stuff in stock.
The Only Silver Lining
At 22 after my family passed away; I went from being a college student worrying about finals to suddenly making end of life care decisions and being the executor of their combined estate. I definitely struggled through the first few years but things really started to click when I turned 25. Because of my experience handling my family's estate and learning how to manage assets, I turned out to be a pretty decent investor and ultimately found a career in finance bc of it.
The Limits Of Imagination
When I was 13 I found an old box. I realized I hadn't played "pretend" in ages, so for the hell of it I sat down in the box and tried to see if I still could.
I realized that while I was still an imaginative person, I could no longer "see" the scenarios and stories I used to play-act in my head as a kid. When I pretended to be a princess, goddamnit I could practically see the marble halls and unicorns around me. I couldn't anymore. Made me cry
TBH I keep having such moments. I mean, I'm all grown up, married and mom of 3 kids, but from time to time something comes along reminding me I'm not a kid anymore. And not just the big ones like buying our first house or a new car, but simple things like making my sons breakfast, and realising now I'm the 'big one' or going grocery shopping and being able to buy whatever I want, and then not doing so 'cause it's the adult thing to do'.
When I realized that it costs money just to exist.
I had recently moved into my first apartment and just loaded up on groceries at the store. Checked the mail when I got home and discovered my first water and electric/gas bills.
I remember thinking "It is going to cost me money to exist for the rest of my life."
Dropped my keys in a grocery store and a little girl scurried over before I could pick them up. She looked proud as punch for saving me from picking something up that was WAY down there on the floor. I wanted to hug her and smack her at the same time. It's official, I'm old now :(