Monday, May 16, 2011

So I guess I'm offically a grown-up now *waits for congratulatory letter*

I was looking around the dinner table at my family on Mother’s Day, basking in the laughter and sense of home, when I was hit with a startling realisation:


So have my friends for that matter. I didn’t even notice until that moment.

My best friend is currently in America living with her man. My other best friend is running the marketing campaigns for the university that I attend. My younger sister went to England for six months last year and brought back a boy, who she's planning on moving out with soon. My little brother has almost finished his Medical Science degree and is studying to get into Medicine. My friends from university are now settled into fancy full-time jobs with titles that I don’t understand. My new friends are married with babies. And Joel has a permanent job as associate producer for a well-known video games company.

Everyone is growing up around me.

And I feel like I have been left behind.

I don’t have a full-time job in my future. Currently the plan is to finish my teaching degree, then go BACK to uni to do post-grad English Literature, which will hopefully get me into Masters, which will hopefully lead into some sort of academic job that allows me to never actually leave university.

Reasonable and responsible, huh?

The thing is, yes I am married and living out of home, but that’s kind of all down to Joel being responsible and good at saving and me just coming along for the ride.

So while it was a lovely day and my mum was spoiled rotten, when I got home that night and was left to my thoughts, I couldn’t help but feel a bit dejected. Would I ever be bitten by the ‘adult’ bug like everyone else? Or will I always be this hopeless?

It wasn’t until this weekend, when I organised my room, cleaned the house, washed two weeks worth of laundry and froze some dinners and homemade muesli bars for the week, that I realised I too am grown up.

How did I not notice this before?

I guess I was always expecting it to be this moment. This exciting, life-changing moment. And I’ll admit, I did sort of expect some fanfare and maybe a ‘doo-wop’ group to serenade me with a song all about how grown up I now was.

But I also realised something. Yes I may be able to pay bills on time. Yes, I can now officially cook, rather than eating toast or chips for dinner every night. Yes, I have learned that studying and awesome grades go hand in hand (after six years of uni...). And yes, now when I want something to happen, I make it happen; rather than waiting for someone else to do it for me.

BUT being grown up doesn’t mean that YOU inherently change. You do things because it’s necessary, because no one else is going to do it for you; but you don’t really become all that wiser. I certainly haven’t.

I’m always going to pick fun over responsible. I’ll always put my savings into an overseas trip, rather than something boring and sensible. I’ll always pick cookie dough over vegetables. I’ll always spend money I shouldn’t at a book sale. I’ll always drink a little bit too much wine. I’ll always be chasing unreasonable dreams and refusing to settle for ordinary.

But I’ll also always pay the mortgage. And leave enough money aside for food, petrol and birthday gifts. And study when I need to. And get my car fixed when it’s broken (except for when one headlight is broken and I feel lazy...damn my need to truth-tell on this blog) and get medication when I’m sick.

Being an adult doesn’t mean changing. It just means doing what you need to do to get by. Taking responsibility for your life and future. And not letting other people down.

My grown up friends and family? They still do some stupid things. They still dance and laugh and love like teenagers. They are still filled with child-like wonder at the idea of carnivals and fireworks. They still like to lick the bowl after baking a cake. They just manage to fit the boring necessary stuff in between all of the fun things.

And I guess I do too.

Growing up isn’t as painfully boring as I thought. In fact, it’s kind of nice.


SJ said...

ha ha, i know exactly what you mean. you really do expect things to just be different, like some revealation will happen and it's official, you're an adult.

i always make comments like 'oooo! how adult of us!' when lachlan and i do something i think is grown up, like getting a credit card or buying household goods instead of going to the pub. i know we're adults, but that doesn't mean you always have to act like one :)

Kari said...

I love that I can hear your accent coming through the written word. So lovely.
I wish I was grown-up in any sense. Someday. Someday.

The Book Florist said...

Thanks for your comment, and WOW! You gave me a sudden thrill, just before, when I read what you were studying! It's nearly mirror image of what I plan to go into - drama and English literature, and then a bachelor of education to do English and drama teaching, hopefully in Europe. Wow. How amazing does studying English literature sound? Like seriously? Studying the best books? Too good to be true!

I love reading your comments, by the way. They are really extremely very encouraging, and it is always so wonderful and exciting when you like the same things. It's great. I love it. And yes, while I was reading them, only a little while ago in fact, the Sherlock Holmes books were my life blood. And having a pocket watch makes me feel like I'm in a story, constantly. It's a fantastic feeling.

In response to your observations, growing up for me is annoying, and intimidating. I've got too much on to really knuckle down and get my learners (despite being old enough for ages), and everything seems quite big, really. I dream of ditching it all and being myself in a country that contains no one I know, like or dislike, but will I really have the courage to do it? I don't know. Maybe courage, and wit, hopefully, will grow with me. Take care. Ps. I love listening to you.

becky said...

This is such a lovely realisation to make. And so true, too. And also something I "battle" with on a daily basis. The real difference is I am not grown up---not in the slightest. I live at home with my parents and I don't drive and I often eat the meals my mum makes. She even does my washing. But I am trying to save. I am trying to save up so that Arnold and I can move out and make our way in the world. And whilst I can't envision me being very good at it to start with, I will try and try again until we both mature: until we are both more or less self-sufficient. At the same time, though, I know there is a part of me that will absolutely never age. A friend and I were discussing the age of our souls, recently, and I realised there is a part of me that is perpetually young, perpetually child-like. It is the part of me that likes to play games and be inspired and in awe of things I see in the world. And sometimes it frustrates me, frustrates me that I still have this part of me. But I am also falling in love with its innocence. It isn't boring. It's just a snapshot of one of the most wonderful periods of our existence.

By the way, it is so nice to hear of your plans---especially to go on to do your masters and to remain in university education know, forever. I say this because it is becoming more and more my aim. I have a meeting in a week or two about masters, actually, and whether or not it is something I'd like to pursue. As much as my course sometimes frustrates, depresses and bogs me down with too much work, doing a Masters in English Literature is still something I'd love to do!

ellie's desk said...

This was sweet. So interesting how life keeps evolving. Yet sometimes, we are the last to know.

lucy and sarah said...

So good to read this. So nice to read about family gatherings. How I can relate too.

A wonderful post!

Brandi {not your average ordinary} said...

It's all about balance I think, though I'm still working on trying to get that balance right. The most important thing you learn when you grow up, I think, is that you do need to chase your dreams and refuse to settle. And I think you're doing just that.

Alexa said...

I'm 30 and definitely don't feel grown loving my age and this time of my life right now though! Great post!

Ash said...

Haha. That title cracked me up.

I know what you mean. Sometimes I have things figured out. But a good deal of the time I feel a little lost. Oh well, it'll come with practice, I guess. (And I definitely always always choose cookie anything over vegetables.)

Krystal said...

i like your version of grown up, i'm so with you!!! i feel like i'm along for the ride most of the time too :)

sami chu. said...

i love the way you talk about growing up. i have always considered myself a young soul and though i am the oldest in my family, i often cling to these childish ideas which keep me from ever becoming a full fledged adult. glad you agree we don't have to!

ps. so glad we found eachother's blogs!

Alex said...

It's like your describing my life! I also feel so behind in the "growing up" game. I'm resisting, I tell you.

Katie Anderson said...

I love this, and I agree completely. I catch myself doing something "grown up" (you know, paying bills or doing washing) and I realise that it's happened - I'm an adult. Although, I'm still surprised that no one passed over some secrets or equipped me with special powers!

Kaylan said...

very well said. and also, very true! growing up just seems to happen to us. it doesn't make you any less of an adult because you like to dream or travel or buy thing irresponsibly... it makes you human!! :)

Bonnie said...

I don't know if I am ever going to feel like a full adult. I usually feel like a 5-year old stuck in a 22-year old's body. Or I feel like a 22-year old stuck in a 70-year old's body because of my dysfunctional liver.
I'm a complex person.
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Alycia (Crowley Party) said...

I feel the same exact way. I use to think growing up wouldn't be nearly as fun as being a teenager etc. I know I still have A LOT of growing up to do, but I love that growing up isn't what I thought it was :)

Deidre said...

Ah, I think that like being a mom, being a grown up you don't get the thanks, congratulatory letter, or the doo wop band that you deserve!

But from us in blogland - congratulations for paying the mortgage! Travelling to see the world, and studying to get good marks. We applaud you!! :)

keishua said...

lovely post. I think we all feel a little anguish about how we think things need to be. Honestly, so many grownups complain, we have no reason not expect it to be dull. However we are not dullards, so that just is not possible. We will pay our bills and have our fun.

Michelle said...

There is no moment. I have the same situation-my friend is teaching in the city after graduation. HE"S so that means he isn't one anymore. shocking!

Aquí said...

man, I felt like I read a little piece of my own mind over the computer screen just now! Great words of wisdom! It's so hard to make myself do all those "responsible" things that adults are supposed to be on top of, I would rather not but then I find myself feeling very guilty. Is that what happens to us as we age? We feel guiltily for not getting our own shit done? Thats what keeps me in check anyway, is my guilt.
As always, great post! You always make us readers think :)

koralee said...

Oh I agree...we may be grown up but we still are young at heart and those silly things have a way of coming out. Thank boring life would be.

Happy tuesday...hope you do something fun! xoxoxo

loveis said...

I just found your blog and this post is so poignant for all of us in life. When we're young we think that when we hit a certain age or achieve something that we're grown up. But, grown up is such an abstract idea. I always questioned whether I had truly grown up and the answer I hope is no. Sure I'm responsible, but I've always been responsible. You only have this moment and this moment is your life. Enjoy!

Rambles with Reese

Petite Voyageur said...

have FUN in paris! it is amazing and it will be so lovely in december!!! xx Si

Petite Voyageur said...

have FUN in paris! it is amazing and it will be so lovely in december!!! xx Si

misslikey said...

this was so nice and honest story. In my case of grown-up thing, I like to spend too much time dreaming so I don't realize that is happening. and sometimes this growing up makes me happy cause I am much wiser, but sometimes scares me because of my expectations.
I love that sentence of yours that being an adult doesn’t mean changing. who says adults have to be boring and fit into social stereotype of an "adult"?! You made my day! Great post and I am very glad I am reading your blog!

skins again said...

Thanks so much for reading ..and the lovely note. I finally updated.

Love the post. Its great to enjoy the little things in life.

hollyoaks fan fic said...

Usually, we are the last to know when things evolve..we just wake up to seems.

Café Chick said...

I quite seriously realised a couple of months ago that I am actually a grown up. Decisions are mine to make. I can do what I choose, and not what I think I should do to meet others' expectations. My money is mine and it's there for spending. (I'm a chronic saver; that's not all bad.) I am yet to start enjoying this fact - it's hard to change the habits of a lifetime! Oh, and I'm 35.

Silver Strands said...

That growing up thing is so weird. It just doesn't seem real at all. When I get together with my siblings it often appears that none of us has grown up at all. Then we just look at each other and see AGE. Weird.

Tiq said...

What a wonderful post Kaylia.

Wel, age is just a number and it's all about being yourself and being happy in the first place.

Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us. Love it.

chels.e. said...

i totally know what you mean. sometimes it takes the analysis of others to truely see yourself.
cheers to choosing cookie dough!

heather said...

i totally lick the whipped cream and cookie dough out of the mixing bowl. and i just up and quit my pretty decent job one day to travel and live in a third world country for years. responsible is relative :)

Allison Marcia said...

I love this post. I'm a little bit different in the sense that I'm the overly responsible and cautious type. I'm engaged now and have graduate college and have begun grad school but I still don't exactly feel like an adult.

You're right, there probably isn't a true 'aha!' moment. I wish there was. It'd be easier. :)

At the same time, there are a lot of good things about being a kid that we too often forget.

I love this post.