When Did This Happen?

Do not misunderstand me. I understand that I am 26 years old. I understand I have graduated from college (twice), traveled around the United States, and been married for nearly three years. I do my laundry, cook dinner, clean, and pay bills. I have my own car and medical insurance. I have a job--nay, a career--that I love. People under the age of eighteen are not allowed to call me by my first name. Parents ask me for advice on how to handle their teenagers. These are the trappings of adulthood. I recognize that. But still I find myself asking constantly, "When did I become a grown up?"

It's not that I mind as much as that I am constantly baffled by this fact. Being a full-fledged grown up seems like a momentous event, something that should be marked by an elaborate ceremony. And yet all around me I watch as my friends, with little fanfare, continue to do things that can only be described as adult. My friends are getting married (to be fair, some fanfare is involved in this). They are slowly fanning out across the country--some the world--to follow careers, significant others, and new opportunities. They are buying houses. My best friend just gave birth to her second child. I can no longer deny that eight years after the end of high school, we are officially a part of the real world.

And the real world seems simultaneously far more and less complex than I anticipated. The things that seemed so impossible as a child--retirement accounts, medical insurance, travelling without supervision--seem easier than anticipated. Other things I thought would be easy--finding contentment and genuine happiness in a crazy world--take far more effort and are much more difficult than adults lead children to believe.

I am an adult. I see this. I even accept this.

That does not mean I have to be happy about it.

Comments

Alice Peipus said…
IGlad you have a blog, it will be nice to see updates on how things are going and keep up with your life, without calling and bugging you!
Debra said…
Maybe we are reading the beginnings of your first book! I just hope that your in-laws aren't the topic for the "crazy relatives" chapter!
Stan said…
I think this is great you have many talents and writing seems to be one of the
Anonymous said…
I can see the babies in front of me, but I still think it is crazy to see the words "second child" spelled out. Perhaps you can start some sort of club for relunctant adults and I could join...

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