February 23, 2011

The Myth of the Grown-Up

When I was a kid, I wanted to be a teacher when I grew up.

As I got older, I imagined what it would like to be a grown up. Though the perks we envision morph as we grow, there are always perks imagined.


When I grow up, I won't have to eat my vegetables. I'll eat cookies for dinner!


When I grow up, I will be able to watch whatever TV shows I want to!


When I grow up, I won't have to do chores for my allowance, and will be able to buy new clothes whenever I want to.


When I grow up, I'll have my OWN car, and I'll drive wherever I want, whenever I want to.


When I'm eighteen, I'll be a grown up. I'll be in charge of myself, I'll do what I want, eat what I want, hang out with who I want.

Then eighteen comes.

For me, this meant my first place, my first real job with real pay and benefits. My first car, bought with my own money. I was growing up, but I didn't feel like a grown up, so I just waited.

Nineteen arrived, along with my first live in boyfriend.

At twenty, he became a fiance.

At twenty-one, I earned a college degree. How grown up is that? And I waited for the feeling to come, but it never seemed to.


I become a wife.


My husband and I own our first real estate - a condo that we end up making money on, and paying off debt. Grown-upapalooza, right? But I'm still not feeling it.


After two years, the child we've been longing for finally arrives. I am a mother. Shouldn't I feel more like a grown up?


The way we lived catches up with us. I am glad I'm so young when I learn the hard lessons bankruptcy brings with it. We have plenty of time to recover, to make better decisions. Grown up decisions I guess.


Our second baby is born, and he is beautiful. I find myself wondering how I have two kids when I feel like a kid myself a lot of the time.


I keep waiting for that moment when I will suddenly feel like a grown-up.

It has taken me over 12 years to realize that it's never coming.

One day, I asked my Mom about being a grown up. She is 51, with 2 kids and 3 marriages under her belt. She has dealt with her childhood, watched her children become grown, and finally found the person she is supposed to be with. She still does not feel like a grown-up.

That's when I realize, it's a total myth! The myth of the grown-up.

Where did this myth come from? Grown-ups exist, but they are always the generation above us. As children, we dream that one day we will see ourselves as grown-ups, but now I realize that this isn't true. Our children will see us as grown-ups. Maybe my 12 year old sister thinks I am a grown-up. But to myself? I don't think I'll ever feel any more grown up than I do now.

I think I will always have those moments where I am astounded that I am leading some sort of adult life - that I am a mother and a wife and live in a house and cook and clean and grow older. I will always feel like I did when I was a kid, because it's just... ME. We age, and we change, we live and we learn and adapt. But I don't think I'll ever feel like a grown-up deep inside.

What about you? Do you feel like a grown-up?

1 comment:

Ediehope said...

I've decided to grow down