Each year when my birthday rolls around, as I creep up there in age, I feel like this is the year that I have to grow up, be serious, and start my transition into adulthood. After all, I’m no teenager anymore. This year though, I’ve wondered what exactly I expect myself to do…after all, I’ve been supporting myself for years, have held a steady job, and gee, bought a house. This year, instead of focusing on the things I could do to make myself more of a grown-up, I decided to focus instead on how I actually have grown up, and the events that have led me to 28.
Let’s take a look, shall we?
- I’ve had a steady job since I was 16. I actually started working when I was 14 (not counting baby-sitting and pet-sitting jobs). The summers when I was 14 and 15 I worked at Orange Julius at the State Fair. When I was 16, I started working at Linens ‘n Things – I remember taking Mom’s van to the interview because it was hot and I didn’t want to sweat my makeup off in my truck with no air conditioning. I only worked at Linens ‘n Things for a month (it was AWFUL) before moving to Plantation Coffee, where I finished out the school year. I had a summer job working for a beer distributer before going off to college. I actually didn’t work the first part of my year in college (mom didn’t want me to work) but by the third quarter I’d gotten a job with the school’s cafeteria, transferring recipes from their old recipe cards to their new computer program. I started with the state about a week after I came home from school, and I’ve been here ever since, moving on up the ladder.
- I’ve lived on my own. I went to college at 17, came home for two years, then at age 20, moved out with a friend. We had a gorgeous apartment that we shared, until we moved in with her then boyfriend. After a few months of that I started looking at getting my own place; there was a short two-month period of living back at mom and dad’s before moving into my very own, roommate-free apartment. A year later I moved downtown, again to my own place, until Grant moved in. We’ve lived several places since then, but have always paid our bills and our rent on time.
- I bought a house. Okay, I bought it with Grant, but we were mature and responsible and waited until the market settled down and we could actually afford a house. Then, we bought something in our income bracket. We were furloughed the month we signed the papers, and we’ve still been responsible enough to curb our spending in other areas (namely my shopping habit) so that we can afford our home.
- I own a dog. Yes, this is a grown-up, responsible thing. Bruiser is my first inside-dog, and when he was a puppy, I swear he was a baby with fur. He’d wake up every hour at night to pee, and let me tell you…it’s much worse to go outside in the middle of the night in winter with a miniature dachshund than it is to change a baby’s diaper in a warm, dry room in your house. Also, he whines and barfs and constantly needs your attention. He’s good training for having a child.
Those are just a few examples. Now, I’m not perfect. I’ve racked up a boatload of credit card debt, eaten ramen for breakfast, and spent my phone bill money on a purse. But, everyone is allowed a few mistakes as long as you LEARN FROM THEM! Repeat them a few times, maybe, but eventually – learn from them so you don’t keep making those mistakes and so that you can grow.
I suppose that’s why I finally admit I’m a grown-up. Not only am I responsible, but I’ve made mistakes, learned from them, and moved on. I guess that’s an adult.