Setting: Pub in downtown Fairfield, Connecticut
Girl: Ugh, I have to actually do adult things this week.
Me: What do you mean?
Girl: My parents are going out of town, so I have to do some adulting. Don’t you hate that? I like, actually have to cook for myself, and take the dog out to go to the bathroom. Isn’t that weird?
I’m in no way judging this girl. Okay, maybe a little. I sometimes forget that not everyone has had the same life as me. When I graduated from high school, my parents moved to Texas about two weeks after the ceremony. I spent the summer living with my grandparents. I then went off to college, and saw my parents twice a year for the next four years or so. Every summer, and during holiday breaks, I stayed with either my grandparents or my aunt. I worked a lot during school, and did my best to help out around the house until I realized it was probably time to find my own place. I was always welcomed at their houses, but by the time I was 21, and I hadn’t lived with my parents since I was 18, I felt like it was time to get my own place.
I moved in with my boyfriend at the time, and continued to do so until about six months ago. But during those four-ish years, I learned to act like an adult. I kind of assumed everyone did around my age but I guess I was wrong. I had to keep up with grocery shopping, clean the apartment when it got messy, remember to bring my car in for an oil change, etc. All of these things that the average adult has to do, I found normal by the time I was 21.
About six months ago, my longtime boyfriend and I broke up. One of the reasons I got off Facebook was the fact that I didn’t want to deal with anybody. It wasn’t necessarily because I was sad, but I didn’t feel like answering questions like, “I saw you moved! Where did you GUYS move to?” or “He’s almost done with school right? What’s next?” My ex and I were not that obnoxiously cheesy lovey dovey couple to begin with, so even if we hadn’t posted about each other in a while, nobody would have noticed. Some friends are just finding out now that we are no longer together and it’s been about six months.
But my point in this post is that, sure, I already knew how to act like an adult early on, but I didn’t know my full potential until I was really, 100% alone. It started with my road trip. I was driving through the Arizona desert at 6am, and realized that I was alone for another 2,500 miles. That was probably the scariest part of this big change of mine. When I finally pulled up to my mom’s house in New Hampshire, something in me shifted. I had done it! All by myself without much help from anyone, minus the Indiana pickle I was in with the snow. I relaxed for a few days and got straight to work to find a job and a place to live. A month later, I finally found a job, and then found a place to live within that week. I felt like I was on top of the world. It’s an amazing feeling to know that I am capable of taking care of myself, when for so long, I never gave myself a chance. It was always a running joke that I couldn’t handle my own life because of how forgetful, klutzy, and at times, shy I am. I am all of those things, but I’ve broken out of the shell just a little bit. When it comes to getting things done, there’s no time for me to be shy. I’ve learned to keep track of important things in my own way, such as not leaving the stove on when I leave the house, or remembering to pay my electricity bill on time, so that I’m not so forgetful. I have yet to figure out the klutzy thing though; that will probably never go away. I will forever and always stub my toe on every corner and drop my keys while holding bags of groceries before getting to the door. I’ve completely put my faith and life into my own hands, and it’s a wonderful feeling.
Now when I have friends or new acquaintances complain that they actually had to go to the bank today, or ask me questions about car insurance, I just nod my head politely and remind myself that we all grow at different times. While some my age complain that they are still living at home with their parents, I remind them of how lucky they are. If my parents had stayed in New Hampshire, I probably would have lived with them a lot longer than I did. But I’m also grateful that I’ve had the chance to grow into the person I am now.