I was driving home from work, late as usual, last week. It had been a long day and I was tired and I sort of went into auto pilot. I was driving down 900 East and the road was pretty empty. I drove through a random burst of fog that lasted about two seconds and continued on towards home and my waiting, warm, welcoming bed. My mind started to wander and somewhere between 21st South and 13th South I had a rather existential moment. An epiphany, of sorts. I realized that I am an adult. Crazy, I know. But really, for most of my 20s I've felt like something of a poser. I may seem all mature and what not, or maybe not, but really underneath it all, I'm just an insecure, unsure 16 year old. I've been taking care of myself for years now. Paying rent, paying bills, working a 9-5 job...all very adult-y things. But I've never actually felt like an adult.
I guess somewhere in my mind I was still hanging on to my childhood version and perceptions of adulthood. Husband, 2.5 kids, a dog perhaps and a house. When I pictured "being an adult" that is what I saw. A self possessed, witty, woman that had all the answers, an incredibly handsome husband that adored her, had an immaculately clean house, cooked delicious meals, sewed her kids costumes and still had time to pursue her own interests.
Well, life didn't quite turn out that way and now at 26 and change...almost 27 years of life, I guess I've had to reevaluate my perception of what it means to be an adult.
- I've been living on my own since college with a brief hiatus at my parent's house.
- I have been able to always pay my rent, put gas in my car, pay my bills, clothe myself and put food in my fridge and lately a little put away for a rainy day.
- I don't have all the answers but I've actually realized that's ok and not as terrifying as it sounds. I know how to find the answers I don't know and understand that maybe it's not as important that I know that right this second.
- I don't have my own kids but I love being an aunt.
- Not having kids also means I can buy that book or pair of shoes or whatnot because it's just me. I don't have to buy diapers or formula or any other baby specific paraphernalia.
- Yet, I would give up the extra shoes and books and bags for a family in a heartbeat.
- I know what I want to do with my life and even if a husband and family never enters the picture, which I seriously hope it does, I will live a happy and fulfilled life. I've found something I'm passionate about and for now, that's enough.
- I have faith that everything will work out the way the Lord intends BUT I also know that I have to do my part.
- Responsibility is a funny thing...
Moral of the story is, life didn't turn out the way that I anticipated but as I look back I'm not sure what experiences I would change or take out. Some were pretty horrific and unpleasant. Others were just down right heart breaking but I can trace some of my own beliefs, personality traits and self knowledge back to those events and I wouldn't be who I am without them. At 26 and change, I've accepted...at least mostly...that my life and adulthood isn't what I expected and that's just fine with me.