When I was little I thought the be-all-end-all of adulthood was learning to drive. Then I turned 16, took some lessons, got my license and life was grand. But I didn’t feel very adultish.
I figured I mut be an adult when I got to university. So I applied, got accepted and went to a good school about three hours from my hometown….just far enough to make it difficult to be dropped in on without notice but not far enough be able to easily go home for the weekend if I got homesick. Four years went by, I graduated and still didn’t feel very adultish either. Hmmm, after grad school?
So I moved back home, went to another good school for two more years, got another degree and landed a job. Nope, still feeling kind of youngish and overwhelmed. Then I stumbled into a cool job at a big firm where I got to flirt with cute boys, be the authority on lots of things, boss around students and wear suits and high heels every day. I certainly felt important but not very adult, although I took pride in looking the part.
A year later my 28 year old world imploded and I ran away to another province to lick my wounds start again with an even more responsible job that made me feel more overwhelmed and less of an adult than ever. In retrospect, I did some dumb things, spent too much money and came home with my tail between my legs six months later. I took a humiliatingly low-paying job and learned some adult lessons but yes, you guessed it, I didn’t feel much like an adult. That magic feeling had to come in my 30s I thought.
Ummm no. I entered my 30s and celebrated by traveling the world to strange and exotic places. I bought a car, made new friends, dated many men and changed jobs. I still wore suits and high heels and bossed students around but I got bored of flirting with cute boys and my profession and so I returned to school to figure out what I really wanted to be when I grew up. I got yet another degree and didn’t have any more of a clue then when I started. That elusive “adultness” continued to remain elusive and I didn’t really do a heck of a lot of growing up.
I dated some more, met a guy, took my most recent job, moved to a new city and I got married. We traveled some more and eventually bought a big house. Now I have adult bills and make adult decisions. At some point we may even have kids (although DH and the cat stretch my patience and abilities more than I’d like to admit so I’m not entirely sure I’m fit to be a mom). But I still don’t feel like an adult.
I’m not complaining, I have a good life. But does the day ever come when you wake up and don’t wonder exactly how you got to where you are? Or worry that the overwhelmed 8 year old inside is going to get ratted out? I’m cleverly disguised as a responsible adult and so far I seem to be successfully pulling the wool over everybody’s eyes. I wonder how long I can keep it up?