Growing Pains*

When do we really grow up?

Is there a moment in time when all of a sudden something shifts and we move from adolescence to adulthood in an instant, whether we like it or not?

Does it happen so gradually that we don’t even notice it’s happening until it smacks us in the face?

…and what the heck is a grown up, anyway?

Is it when we discover that vegetables aren’t just gross–they’re actually fabulous?

…or when our siblings become our friends and parents are suddenly wiser than we ever realized?

Is it when we truly feel independent for the first time?

…or when we are officially old enough impact the political outcomes in our countries (voting)?

Is it when we purchase our first vehicle?

…or the first time we move out on our own?

Is it when you complete your education?

…or when you receive your first real promotion in your chosen career?

Is it when you realize that you have fears, and that the bravery of your youth has vanished?

…or the moment you let your fears go?

Is it when people younger than you have no idea who JTT was? (this actually happened… our poor, poor youth…)

…or when you really fall in love for the first time?

Is it when you realize that puppy love is not enough to make a relationship survive?

…or when you finally drop the word “like” from your vocabulary? (it took me, like, a long time. Like, seriously.)

It is when you are faced with your first major decision that impacts someone more than yourself?

…or the first time you lay awake all night due to stress of some sort?

Is it when you trade in your beloved homemade MC Hammer pants (my mom loves me and made me some) for work clothes?

…or when you learn to put the people you love before yourself?

Is it the first time you experience the death of someone close to you?

…or witnessing the birth of a child?

Is it forced upon us?

…or something we accept without a fight?

I simply don’t know.

The Hubster believes it’s when someone can be self-reliant and survive in the world on their own. I don’t know what I think–there are too many questions. There are some days where I feel as though my days of being Twenty-teen are so far behind me I can hardly remember them, and others where I swear yesterday was my 17th birthday. I know I’ve been married for four years, but when I say it out loud I think that it can’t possibly have been that long.

I guess I’m just feeling some growing pains these days.

Are you a “grown-up”?

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22 Comments

  • Bluebelle

    Hmm, some days I am, some days I'm not. I'm married, know how to take care of myself and could survive in the world alone. But, I don't have a job/career plan, am just learning to drive and certainly would not want to survive alone. I'd be terrified. Sometimes I am anyway. I try not to think about it too much!

  • Ashley

    Perhaps being a grown-up is being all of these things and more? I wouldn't say it's when a person can be “self-reliant and survive in the world on their own.” Sure, self-reliance is a large part of it, but humans are social creatures and most can't survive on their own. Perhaps our view of what an adult is changes depending on what age we are?

  • Karen

    I think your husband's definition sums ikt up pretty well. Because there are some very grown up children in the world.

    Being a grown up doesn't mean you are never immature and always do the most responsible thing. Just that you usually do.

  • janet

    I don't feel much like a grown up most of the time. I'm 37. I've been married (and divorced). I have a good job and an education. I own my home. I think I do pretty well taking care of myself out in the world. I've sort of wondered if it's because I don't have children. Is that when we become grown up? When we have our own child to care for? I have dogs. That doesn't make me feel grown up.

  • Shop Girl*

    I wonder that as well… some days I feel very grown up, others I just feel… lost. And little. I wonder if having someone be so completely dependent on you forces you to grow up.

  • Shop Girl*

    I'm definitely social… as much as I appreciate my independence, I don't know if I could make it without lots of people around. And I think you could be right–when I was 18 and leaving home to go to school I thought for sure I was a grown up. Now as I look back I'm not sure I was. It just keeps changing!

  • Lil' Woman

    I've completed some of those things but I haven't had no big breakthrough where I now think I am a grown up….I hope I age gracefully but still stay young at heart!

  • Lisa

    I don't really know when we “grow up” but I do know that I loved reading this list! Sometimes I just feel like a really big kid, never ready to fully be considered a grown up. I think being an adult or old is all in the attitude.

  • Erin

    I'm definitely grown-up-ish, and I kind of enjoy it. I love having my own home and being responsible for myself and my family. That being said, I also really enjoy a good poop joke, so I'm not sure how grown up I really am!

  • dategirl

    I would say that I feel more like a grown up than a “twenty teen” as you put it, I like that. I'm 26, but in terms of other people my age, I feel a lot older. I've had my career for three years, I'm saving to buy a house, I'm in a serious relationship, where the M word, the R word (ring) and the B word come up all the time. Though, the young part of me still cringes at the B word right now. Let me lose some of those P (pounds!) first, then we'll talk B. ;-)

  • Shop Girl*

    I understand the little cringe… I think having a baby really pushes you to become a grown up whether you like it or not! I can't wait to be in your shoes–comfy in my career with a home on the horizon… sound like a pretty good life to me. :)

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