moments of being an adult


Everything is changing all at the same time but, I am calm and able to handle all the tasks at hand- some more gracefully than others.

I am not sure when I first figured out that I was an adult. I remember being a teenager, and perhaps even younger, wishing to copy the various activities and behaviors of my parents and our family. I wanted to badly emulate my older cousins; they had this great power of not only physical height but, most importantly, freedom. I would always think of the many things I could accomplish being an adult. The possibilities seemed endless at eight, ten, thirteen, and so on.

However, I developed a panic of sorts when I started college. I was not sure if I had become an adult yet. Did driving myself to school, eating wherever I wanted, and attending concerts until two in the morning count? Did reading Plato and watching serious (and often lifeless) documentaries make me educated? That yearn that in childhood I had craved for became an even greater worry in college.

The first time that I truly thought I was an adult was following a very tragic accident of a close friend. I sat around with a couple of other friends, talking about how something like this could happen to such a nice girl (and then discussing death itself in a philosophical sense), and what could we do for her, how could we help her, most of all, understand what she was going through. For hours, we contemplated what to say to her and how to approach her conveying our availability. Yet, as we did this, we were not sure ourselves that we could handle what she may require of us. In this moment of time, we all realized that we had become something more than those girls who ran around with home made t-shirts in the city late at night in hopes of meeting rock stars. I remember thinking that clearly this was an adult situation.

Moments like that have followed, though their context, thankfully, has not been so grim. There are times when an argument or event occurs and I think to myself, You are a grown up, so deal with this correctly. I have found that I am not so excited to share the dramatic or sad events with other grown ups, and that freedom that I desperately and positively sought out as the greatest gift, comes with a price. It is not sentimental or somber to find these things out- a bit disappointing perhaps but, such is the way of everything.

These mere moments of inclusion in the otherwise elusive adult world have continued to grow lately. At first, I felt overwhelmed and almost as if I was drowning in my own thoughts (metaphors are plenty). With time, the decisions that I had made made me feel calm. With the greatest sincerity, I experienced a sense of growing up in a way that I cannot capture even in my greatest moments. Being young, I never realized, had many more freedoms that are now simply not available. The everlasting struggle of wanting to be an adult and not wanting to grow up continues. For now, I patiently await, much like I did when I was younger, except the duties that arrive are often greater than imagined even by the most creative little mind.