I’m pretty sure I’m a grown-up now.
It’s hard to know for sure.
When I was a child, I knew that my parents were grown-ups. I knew that for sure.
When I was a teen, my teachers were grown-ups.
When I was in college, my professors were certainly grown-ups.
After that, things got blurry. I became teacher, but I hardly felt grown-up. In fact, just four months into teaching, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to do when I grew up, as I was pretty sure I wouldn’t be able to handle the stress of teaching forever (I lasted eight years).
Now, more than ten years later, I think I just might be a grown-up, maybe, probably, almost.
- I am a parent, and parents are grown-ups (according to their children).
- I have finally acquired a taste for coffee (albeit chocolate laden coffee), which is a very grown-up drink.
- I have purchased non-form-fitting clothing and weird looking clothing, thus proving I no longer care what people think (Ha! Yeah right. Don’t think I’ll ever escape that…), which is a very grown-up sentiment.
- I moved with my family to the other side of the world, and I am still sane. Definitely proof I have grown-up.
The only problem is that there are plenty of facts to the contrary.
- I stay up too late nearly every night, knowing I will hurt for it the following day. Pretty sure grown-ups know better.
- I push forward with plans even when the timing may not be ideal because I cannot possibly wait.
- I eat every cookie in the house because “everything in moderation” is the bane of my existence.
- I dramatize situations extensively. EVERYTHING IS IMPORTANT ALL THE TIME AND MUST BE DONE NOW.
And there you have it—an equal number of facts in opposition. So am I a grown-up or not? The Urban Dictionary defines a grown-up as the following:
“A nickname for your supervisor at work; usually used in plural form to describe a group of supervisors. The grown-ups are going to yell at me again for forgetting to clock in.”
Though this definition received 911 thumbs up responses, it also received 561 thumbs down responses, so maybe not the ultimate definition. Maybe the Brits know. The Cambridge Dictionary defines it as the following:
“If you say that someone is grown-up, you mean that they are an adult or that they behave in a responsible way: He seems very grown-up for a ten-year-old.”
But are the Brits to be trusted? Are they using the Cambridge Dictionary to undermine our English to make theirs the world standard? I am pretty sure this battle is being fought by CNN and the BBC on hotel televisions worldwide.
Anyway. I have no clue if I am a grown-up or not. I don’t even know that I want to be one. I technically want to be a responsible and trusted person, but I don’t want to lose the parts of me that are carefree and fun-loving, though now that I think about it, I don’t know how often I see those parts of myself anymore. So maybe I am a grown-up.
What I am trying to get at is how weird it feels to exist at increasingly higher ages. You still feel like YOU. But if you look at it objectively, or read things you wrote as a teen, you know that the YOU that you were is not the YOU that you are now. That’s something that makes marriage hard. You fall in love with someone then they change. But you change too. The only question is do you change together in similar directions and ways, or do you decide to choose to love the person your spouse has become (and can your spouse love the new YOU as well).
So that’s it for today. I suppose the “coffee” I am drinking right now is a perfect illustration of my current grown-up status—large sized, filled with chocolate, half caffeinated, half de-caf, blended with ice, topped with whipped cream, and in a Slurpee style cup. (I am even slurping a bit to get the last bits up. I can’t help it. I want every last bit of it.) My coffee is pretending to be a grown-up but is really whimsical and eclectic.
And there it is. A small epiphany concerning my philosophy of life, revealed upon ordering a coffee. I like life with whipped cream on top, and lots of variety inside. And as with every question answered, it begs more questions. If this is how I like life, if I try to cut down and be more disciplined and just have a small cup of tea, am I denying my true self?