From a very young age I can remember wanting to grow older. As a child, I wanted to be a teenager. Teens had more freedom, or so I thought. Then I wanted to turn sixteen so I could drive.
The next milestone was eighteen; the year I would officially be an adult. The morning of my eighteenth birthday I was certain that in the mirror I would see a woman looking back at me. Much to my disappointment, the same girl I met there the night before was the same girl standing before me that morning.
Twenty-one was next on the list, and then twenty-five. Even with the ability to drink (legally) at twenty-one and the lowered car insurance at twenty-five, I still didn’t feel like an adult. Not only did I not feel like one, but others considered me to be a kid too. “Oh you’re still a kid,” they would say.
That all changed when I turned thirty. Something about being in my thirties made me feel like a grown up. I even remember making the statement, “I’m an adult now.” No longer during conversations with people older than me, was I perceived as a kid. Instead, they considered me to be on level playing ground with them.
It was also that year that I began to look back on life, what all I had accomplished and what I had not. Where I had fallen short and where I had succeeded. Not only did I assess my outward accomplishments, but also who I was in general.
Up to that point I had been treating life much like a game; primarily by making hasty decisions and running from problems, which I was good at. But something about turning thirty caused me to realize that life wasn’t a game, and that it was time I grew up. It was time to take life seriously, and stop running every time things got hard.
Even though now, a few years later, I still behave like a kid at times and occasionally make poor decisions, at least I can finally say that I’m a grown up. Because of that, I’ve enjoyed my thirties.
But now forty is creeping up, a little too soon for my liking. I wonder how grown up I’ll feel then. Perhaps those will be the best years of my life, or maybe I’ll just get (more) gray hairs.
This post is in response to The Daily Post prompt: All Grown Up
When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?