The concept of adulthood has been on my mind since graduating college. I'm sure if I went back into my high school journals, I was counting down the days until I turned 18, when I'd finally be respected as a mature individual.
I try not to be cruel to people younger than myself. I remember clearly how "grown-up" I felt at that time. I hate that I now sound as prejudiced as I thought other people did back then. That's perspective for you. Even if someone is naive in relation to your own experiences/age, I think they still deserve respect and that is key to helping teenagers get through the worst years. Of course, when it gets to a certain age, like under 13, I don't know how to talk to you anymore and I am sure my niece & nephews think I'm hella awkward. But hopefully a little cool. They did used to sing songs about me after all. I've got another chance with the baby, maybe he won't become scared of me someday like one of them did...
So here I am, a real adult. I think.
I've got my own health insurance, provided by my work, which is a nice office job. I sit in a cubicle all day. Not only am I married, but my husband is signed into all aspects of my life, from every kind of insurance that I have, to my emergency contact forms for every doctor I've visited in the past couple of years. We rent a floor in a two-family home, we have two cars, we have a cat, and we both have credit cards now. Well, mine is in the mail.
So, I am an adult, in my book. What I'm struggling with is applying my current feelings & sense of self to this concept of adulthood. Like most kids, we expect that something magical changes on our birthdays, that we will suddenly feel older, but it never happens. Well, that's the same for growing up in any sense. Now I'm married and I only feel married because I recognize and accept certain aspects of my relationship with Hulky that fit with my concept of marriage. All that's left is for me to accept that I already am this adult that I thought I should be.
Perspective, perspective, perspective.
Claiming My 30's - I found this article pretty useful. I'm smack-dab in my mid-20's right now and it's honestly relieving to read that things might settle down someday. I often find myself lamenting that we aren't doing more now or that we aren't already at certain milestones that I'd like to reach someday. We have time. We can live it up for now. We're getting along just fine, making plans and setting goals. Debts are getting paid. We are pretty healthy. I am grateful for the stability we have and look forward to more in the future.
The Work-Life balance? I have no idea. I think the identity I am struggling with most now is that of a working adult. What does it mean to be part of the workforce? Does my work define me? Is it okay to let it? How do I live between the hours at the office? I've recently let myself become engrossed in Lego Harry Potter Years 5-7 (for the PlayStation 3). I play it after work and on weekends quite a lot. There's plenty of content to keep me busy and plenty of extras to fulfill my need to complete everything. I love achievements in games. But I still need to make dinner, do laundry, keep the apartment clean, and run errands. I keep asking myself, "When am I supposed to do everything?" I have to remember that it's up to me to create my own definitions & apply them to what I do. I find myself trying to fit myself in the mold of how I see other working adults, like my parents, but their experiences are not mine and I don't necessarily want to have the after-hours life that they do.
And living day to day is not the worst thing you can do when stressed, or when you're figuring things out. It's actually very smart, in my book. Tonight, I'll swing by the grocery store on the way home for some meat & anything else that I remember that we need. I'll do a load of laundry. I might watch something with my husband and we'll definitely snuggle with the cat. And I'm totally playing more Lego Harry Potter.