June 6, 2012

my two cents: on being an "adult."

"You're so adult," a friend told me recently. "You're, like, a real person."

"Why?" I asked, genuinely perplexed. I'd just listened to "Call Me Maybe" and "Payphone" and Justin Bieber on repeat, so I wasn't exactly feeling adult. I'd also just signed a text LYLAS.

"For one," she said, "you're getting married. You actually frame things to put on your walls. And let me guess: You have stuff from both Pottery Barn and Williams-Sonoma in your kitchen."

I do — thanks mostly to my recent bridal shower. I glanced over at the shiny new salt, pepper, and sugar set on our dining room table and shrugged. "That doesn't make me an adult, though," I said. "It just means I've always loved playing house and I read too many design blogs for my own good."

"Agree to disagree," she said.

The thing is, I know what she means. There are a lot of pieces in my life that are starting to feel grownup: my job, my apartment, my soon-to-be marriage. Still, truth is, most days I feel 16. Maybe even 14. Just because years pass, that doesn't mean you lose the person you used to be.

"Growing up," I think, means that you can be whoever you'd like. You can be an adult in the corporate-and-white-picket-fence sense, or you can be an adult in the YouTube-reruns-til-2am, eats-cereal-from-the-box sense, and it doesn't matter either way. To me, the very definition of being an adult is that your life becomes yours — whatever you choose to make of it.

So maybe I have a 401K, an apron, a wallet stuffed with business cards. But I also have glitter nail polish and too-short shorts and an affinity for all things pop culture. For me, becoming an adult hasn't been a transition from one person to another: it's been sinking into the eclectic, unexpected combination of everyone I've ever been, all rolled into one. Refreshing, isn't it?

14 comments:

Allie said... [Reply to comment]

this is the truest thing ive read in a while! glad to know im not the only one with an abundance of glitter nail polish heehee

Hannah said... [Reply to comment]

Oh my goodness, I absolutely love your description of growing up: "sinking into the eclectic, unexpected combination of everyone I've ever been, all rolled into one"
Very refreshing indeed!

grace said... [Reply to comment]

So refreshing. I love this!

Putdar said... [Reply to comment]

"Just because years pass, that doesn't mean you lose the person you used to be."
Can't agree more :)

~BB~ said... [Reply to comment]

exactly. I love the way you described it.

Lisa said... [Reply to comment]

Love this :) Couldn't agree more!

emily janette said... [Reply to comment]

love this idea. so true. and i love how eloquently you described it.

sara with an h said... [Reply to comment]

goodness, i love reading your posts. i always feel a connection to what you're writing about and it makes me feel inspired. so thanks :)

Alli said... [Reply to comment]

You hit the nail on the head. I'm heading through that same stage right now and it's so strange to think "no switch has been flipped". It's like a slow progression into adulthood - you are no different than the day before, yet somehow you are.

Pia said... [Reply to comment]

Loved reading this!

A few months ago a friend of mine turned to me and said "You two are the oldest young couple that I know...". At first I paused and did not know how to respond, then these very same thoughts went through my head as she rattled off all of the things that I was doing at the time. Now almost a year married, a baby on the way, my 27th birthday tomorrow, with our 401K and all that jazz, I still feel super young. As a matter of fact I just told my husband the other day how I feel like I just turned 19.

Boy, how time flies... but it sure has been a great ride so far!

Kind regards and all the best with your upcoming "grown-up" things! :)
-Pia

Lisa said... [Reply to comment]

Great post :) Reading this makes me not so scared about the weird growing up transition I've found myself in.

-Lisa

Caiti said... [Reply to comment]

I simply love this post. It's exactly what I needed to hear. I just finished grad school and literally have the world at my finger tips, but I recently took a smaller paying job, in a bad area of town, because I know that I will never go to work a single day there. I moved out of my mom's house a few months ago, but I moved into a house for girls that have aged out of the foster care system, and have nowhere to go. (I'm an RA for the program). And lately, I've been getting a lot of flack...a lot of close friends and family disagree with my decisions, arguing that I'm limiting myself, that I'm not "growing" up, getting out on my own.... So thank you for your affirming words. They spoke straight into my soul.

Nicole said... [Reply to comment]

I completely agree. The idea of adulthood is terrifying, but who says you have to put a label on it ;)

chrissy said... [Reply to comment]

i agree! i know how you feel! im 24 and sometimes i feel so young. i still giggle at what i always thought was funny, i still draw :)'s at the end of my name.. i still speak fast when i get excited and will eat cereal for breakfast when i dont like what is for dinner.. but i am an adult. i lead my own life and make my own decisions.. i have a job, bills to pay, responsibilities and commitments.