Thursday, May 24, 2007

I Wonder When Anyone Feels Like An Adult?

I wonder when anyone feels like a grown-up. I've been thinking about this all week and I've concluded that the trigger event or series of events for feeling like a grown-up is different for everyone. to some people, it is getting their first job. For others, it is getting married. I think most people would agree that having kids makes you more of an adult. Looking back, I don't know that I can find one defining moment in which I suddenly felt like an adult.

I know I felt grown-up when I got my first "real" job after college. When I look back on it, the job taught me to be tough, to take care of myself, and how to live out of a suitcase for eight months at a time. What the job didn't bring was a rental payment, a telephone bill, or grocery shopping every week. So, I may have been a little bit more grown-up, but I wasn't shackled to a desk like some of my friends already were and I certainly got off easy in the bills department of adulthood.

Finally moving out on my own tossed me into the next step of adulthood. Now I was shackled to a desk for nine hours a day, I was making rental payments, and I had a cat to take care of. These were big responsibilities for a 23 year old. I knew that my entire existence was riding squarely on me and that if I took my eye off the ball for even one second, I could lose my newfound freedom. That year was definitely my wake-up call as to what the real world was like. I learned that being an adult isn't always fair or fun, but that it beats being 15 and stuck in high school.

During my twenties, I lived on my own and grew into more of an adult. I stopped staying out until all hours of the night, I figured out what it was that I wanted in a mate, and I figured out what I was willing to take and/or leave in a job. To me, those three things really made me an adult. I was taking care of myself and knew that I could without a doubt pay my rent, pay for groceries, and find someone that would make me happy. I think taking responsibility for myself, for my job and for my future really made a difference. I was miserable at times because of work or because I might not have found "the one" yet, but this decade taught me so much about myself and about the adult I was becoming.

Now I've entered my thirties. Oh. My. God. I've moved away from everything and everyone I've ever known. I've put my trust into a man who has promised to love, honor, and cherish me forever. I've taken on a more ambitious job and I have an investment portfolio. I've had discussions about having kids and about how to pay for those kids' college educations. I think it is safe to say that I've arrived squarely into adulthood.

However, there are still some days that I want to sit around, watch t.v. and have absolutely no adult responsibilities whatsoever. I'll have a few drinks, forget about the laundry, and read People magazine with wild abandon. So, while I may be an adult, there is still a lot of kid left in me. Thank goodness.

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