Grown Up

When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

Bear

Being well into my 30’s, I think I should feel like a grown all the time but I don’t.  I think I have always had an idea of what being a grown should be like and yet, it doesn’t seem to fit. I have a full-time job, a long-term relationship, a car, an apartment, a cat, and small signs of growing older (a few random grey hairs, sunspots and creases). I can think of a few moments when I thought to myself, “Wow! I feel like an adult, I did it,” and then the moment passes. Maybe it is because I still like a lot of things I did when I was younger: hair band music, stuffed animals, Beavis and Butthead, Charlie Brown cartoons, ice cream and I somewhat resist dressing like an adult unless the occasions calls for it. Maybe it is because I viewed being grown-up as being like my parents and though I have commonalities with them, I am very different.

The moment that stands out for me as me feeling like a grown-up was buying my first car. With a little assistance, I bought the car, cleaned it, maintained it and eventually paid it off. I was fully responsible for the car and it enabled me to get to and from work, allowed me the freedom to travel and it gave me solitude at times I needed it. I loved driving around the city between work appointments, listening to news or music, and sometimes provided an escape on a stressful day.

Co-workers and I celebrated 7 years together
Co-workers and I celebrated 7 years together

I again felt like a grown-up when Boyfriend and I packed up our lives and moved to the Great State of Texas to start a new life. My Boyfriend finished his Associate’s degree two weeks before I finished the rest of my agency’s contract with the City of Chicago and we left for Texas two days later. We spent the next few weeks driving back and forth to find an apartment in a town we had never visited before, to find a job for me and for Boyfriend to explore the continuation his education and other opportunities. I further felt like a grown-up when we returned home a few weeks later to retrieve the rest of our belongings and my car, which after $600 in repairs, died and needed replacing. Grown-ups deal with frequent problems, right? So I bought a new car, eventually found a job, and Boyfriend determined that he would stop at an Associate’s degree to pursue other options. Everything worked out for us, though not without a little sweating.

 In my previous job as a juvenile case manager, I had flashes of feeling grown-up as I strived to be a positive influence on trouble youth and families. I reached out as an understanding voice that tried to show youth the value of hard work, the importance of making good choices and planning for their futures, while in the presence of their daily challenges. I sometimes had flashbacks to what my parents and coaches told me, and I felt proud to pass on that knowledge.

Maybe I have more in common with my parents and the “grown-ups” who affected me, positively and negatively. I get up, some days begrudgingly, to do the best I can for that day, trying to be responsible, pay my bills and find a bit of joy and fun when boyfriend and I can, though I’m not sure when the “grown-up” thing will really stick. 

© blogdaysofchrell 2015

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