I am 22 years old. I am living in my first apartment, working my first real job, freshly graduated from college, etc. As I have been on this journey through adulthood, I have discovered some things I did not anticipate. I mean, bills and stuff, I was ready for that. But I had no idea about these:
1. I am empowered.
People ask for my opinion, and it matters. Now I believe my parents and the other adults in my life have always taken me seriously to a certain extent because I’ve always been pretty mature. But now, in this strange turn of events, everyone is paying attention to me. People ask me questions, and I have the answers. People want my input, and they use it. It’s nice to feel important. Except now like, at the DMV I can’t really play the, I’m-a-dumb-teenager-please-pity-me card. And people expect me to be able to parallel park, which is a lot of pressure.
When I was a kid, I used to get in trouble because I would walk out the door and leave every light on. I just really wanted our home to be a safety beacon for prodigal nocturnal mammals and birds, I guess. But now, now that I pay my own bills, I dont even sit in my living room if my bedroom light is on. That porch light? You’d better text me as you walk up the stairs if you want it on when you visit. Ain’t no lightbulb in my house getting overused. And on the same token, I treat the thermostat like a nuclear reactor. Only touch in cases of extreme emergency. Like if your toes are falling off. even then, put some more socks on because its only going up one degree.
3. I. Get. So. Much. Junkmail.
Like, every single day, I get coupons for 1000 baby diapers and purple Q-Tips. I get coupons for free stuff, cheap stuff, expensive stuff, new stuff, and old stuff. I get offers for credit cards, cable subscriptions, face washes, club memberships and dating sites. (No, really.) I have to throw away so much paper it’s practically sin. I mean, seriously. No, I do not want to buy 60 pounds of beefsteak, grocery store in another state.
4. I have to scrape ice off of my own car.
I mean, yes, I can have a man do those kinds of things for me… scrape ice, move boxes,pump gas, etc. But my point here is that I can’t just wait around fro Dad to do it because it’s not his job anymore. And he’s not here. So, to the Elvis CD whose jewel case I used to scrape ice this morning, I hope you didn’t want that back. Because I’m an adult and I scrape my own ice. And I am not very good at it.
5. I have begun to see price in terms of hours worked. And I see work in terms of items purchased.
Adulthood has made me incredibly practical. My mom has always said things like, “No, you do not need to buy the 12 dollar nail polish because that is an hour out of my life and I could buy like 16 lightbulbs for that.” And I just thought she was being selfish. But look, y’all. I don’t buy crap anymore. Unless I have lectured for an hour thinking, “this lecture on the principles of marketing will pay for four boxes of fancy crackers” then I buy no fancy crackers. I buy regular crackers and save six bucks.If I get a gift card, I think, “Wow! toilet paper and toothpaste!” In fact, everything fancy I have bought lately, was not without a brief evaluation of how many unfancy things I sacrificed for that item. I’ve learned I’m just not into wasting my own money the way I am my parents’ money.
6. And most shocking and heartbreaking of all, kids now call me lady. And I call them kids.
I’m not a “girl” anymore. The other day in the airport I overheard this cute group of teenage girls say something about the “lady” behind them. And then I realized that “lady” is me. And then I realized I had just been thinking “Oh what cute young girls.” I AM MY MOTHER. But I’ll save that thought for another post. Anyway it makes me feel like these ladies.
Don’t get me wrong, adulthood is super. I enjoy it. I like responsibilities, I like respect, and I like freedom. I guess there’s just some things about it that I’m gonna have to get used to.
That is all.