I hope that I am not the only person who—even in my late forties, and on a somewhat regular basis—finds it repeatedly shocking that I am a grownup. When I was a kid or a teen, “being an adult” seemed like I would have to be an entirely different person than I was. Yet, while I am indeed very different now than I was at, say, 14, I am…still just me. I also thought that being an adult meant “having it all together.” HA! (Enough said on that.)
I suppose that I came to adulthood later than many people. I was a "student" until I was 32, after all. And I didn't have kids until I was 36 (this was largely a result of watching my siblings have kids while I was a teen). Even now, I regularly look at my kids and think: "Who the hell said I was qualified to be your mother? I have no idea what I am doing." Further, although I have a house and mortgage, it is my husband who understands the mortgage, not me (what are points? I find them as confounding as off-sides in hockey).
But sometimes it just hits me that I am a full-fledged (and card carrying) adult.
Signs that (for me) indicate that I am a grownup include:
· The art on my walls is not held up by thumb tacks.
· I have a Kitchen Aid and a Cuisinart. And I use them.
· I have not gone dumpster diving for furniture in many, many years.
· I have an office.
· I have “work clothes.”
· I go to meetings. I contribute to them. I sometimes even run them.
· I speak the jargon of my field, and the more specific jargon of my institution (I can—but try not to—use acronyms numerous times in a single paragraph).
· “My family” can mean the one that I created, not just the one from whence I came.
· I refer to my husband as “Dad” when I talk to the kids.
· I have said a eulogy.
· I have political opinions.
· I don’t have to go to any religious institution unless I choose to do so.
· I look forward to vacations with an aim of doing nothing.
What are the signs that, somewhere along the way, you turned the corner and became a grownup?