Do you ever stop and think to yourself, “Wow, I’m an actual grown up”?
You know…an adult. A contributing member of society. With a marriage license and a mortgage.
And a kid.
Sometimes the thought of this is baffling. Like I’m still a 19 year old girl, I’m just trapped in this 31 year old body.
I really should have appreciated the 19 year old body more when I had it. Hindsight can be a real kicker.
I guess a lot of adults probably never have this ‘epiphany’ about being all grown up, but it totally blindsides me once in a while.
Like, “How did I get here so fast?”
Wasn’t I just suffering through college and nursing the wounds of a breakup? Furthermore, wasn’t I just going on high school ski trips and passing notes with my friends?
Here I am, 31 years old. I have a husband, a child, a full time “big girl job”, a house, 2 cars, a bunch of furniture and electronics. I have life insurance and a mortgage and an HSA account.
I vote and pay taxes and worry about the state of teenagers in this day and age. I stay at home on Friday nights and watch Netflix with Andy and a bottle of pinot noir.
When I step back to look all around, I’m proud of myself.
In the throws of the daily grind it’s hard to look up and see it all as a collection of hard work and achievement, but it is.
I didn’t stumble into any of it, I worked hard for it.
I screwed up and had setbacks and made poor decisions along the way, but I made it my mission to learn and grow despite all the crap that happened.
I used to wonder how my parents had the answers to so many random questions. I couldn’t fathom how they knew so many things about so many things.
Now I get it. They lived things. They tried stuff and screwed up. They took detours and got lost. Then they found their path and they remembered what they learned along the way. This process put small deposits in their memory banks and those funds were ripe for the picking when I was asking all sorts of questions.
Some people look back on their teenage years as if they were the best ones.
“Ah, to be young again.”
The whole world was your oyster and the potential was palpable.
I had really, really wonderful high school years. A fantastic group of friends, a great neighborhood, a wonderful youth group and lots of awesome opportunities were a winning combination for me. I was truly blessed that the majority of my adolescence was fun and happy.
But, I think I like being a grown up better.
I’ve got some of life’s really tough lessons under my belt. I’ve grown out of some bad habits. I’ve reaped the reward of working hard in high school and also college. I don’t get so many zits. I’m more confident and content. I’ve learned that it’s not about popularity or having the best toys. I’m less impulsive and more responsible. I’m less scared and more willing to take risks. I’m not afraid to say what I really think and be who I am even if it ruffles some feathers.
My 30’s so far are better than my 20’s were, and I’m looking fondly ahead to my 40’s because I know they hold their own special gems.
I’m not overly concerned about wrinkles or sagging. The only thing I’m afraid of is becoming stagnant or thinking that I have it all figured out.
The older I get the more I realize how little I know.
Growing in wisdom and love is the carrot I hope to keep chasing for decades to come.
Cheers to getting old!