When I was
younger more naive, I associated coming of age with a number. Depending on how old you were determined your level of kid vs. adult. Age nine and below, you are a kid; plain and simple. Then you have this weird purgatory of not really being a kid and definitely not a teen, but as soon as you turn 13, doors just start to open for you. Not literally though–that’s just what my little brain told me.
Then as you continue through your teens and hit 16 that’s when grown up stuff starts happening: driving, working a real job (instead of being paid under the table to shovel snow or babysit), going to prom… ages 16-19 are like the golden years of adulthood. You get all the freedom of still being a kid and the best parts of being an adult.
Then you hit 20-21 and life kind of starts getting real. You move out on your own which is bad ass and quite the lifetime milestone, but then you either have to pick up a second job or go full-time to keep up with your ever accumulating bills–car, phone, rent, electricity, student loans… next thing you know, you’ve graduated college, are in debt up to your eyeballs, you’re diet consists of hot dogs, ramen, and chocolate bars (no…. just me then?), and you can’t seem to catch a break.
As you continue through your early to mid 20s, you still struggle quite a bit, but worries just kind of seem to fade (or you just start not giving a shit). Next thing you know, you’re dating a wonderfully magnificent person and that person decides you’re a pretty alright adult and asks to marry you.
Marriage-the epitome of being an adult. Once you’re married, you adopt a pet, buy a house and start popping out kids, which makes you the highest level adult there is, right?
Well that’s what I thought too…
Turns out adulting isn’t measured in years. It’s a turning point in one’s life–an experience one goes through that gives them a sort of ah-ha moment. Some say losing your virginity, getting your driver’s license, or even getting your first tattoo all qualify you to be labeled an adult. Well I’m telling you right now: nope, not in the least bit. They are important, potentially life changing events most people experience, but they don’t exemplify adulthood. I’m sorry to tell you this, but you’ll have to dig a little deeper.
On my personal road to becoming an adult, it all started when I was moving out of my parents’ house. As one does when moving, towards the end of the packing process, you start to throw belongings into anything that is easily movable. With this concept in mind, I threw all my socks into a duffle bag. Once moved into my new apartment, I would empty my socks into the appropriate dresser drawer.
Well that appropriate drawer never presented itself, so my collection of socks stayed in the duffle bag tucked in the corner of my closet. My lease for my apartment was only for 9 months anyway, so I decided keeping them portable was forward thinking; it would mean one less thing to pack in the future.
Then I moved in with my aunt. But the thing about moving (in most cases) is you just move your stuff from point A to point B. So that already jam-packed dresser that came with me remained just as jam-packed at my aunt’s house as it had been at the apartment. I figured my sock bag had served my needs for 9 months, what’s another 12?
A year later I moved 200 miles away and found it very convenient that my socks were already packed, especially since I was moving into a transitional apartment with a friend from grade school until I found my own place. Three months later, I lucked out in finding a 1 bedroom apartment of my own and made yet again another move with my duffle-bag-o-socks.
I had all intentions to vacate one of my drawers in my dresser and allot it for my sock collection, but determined my t-shirt collection was more important, so for another 2 years, I pulled my socks out of a bag whenever I needed a pair.
Then I moved in with my now husband. You’d think I’d get my shit together after moving in with a boy, and you would be correct. I had my shit together, but I still used that ratty gym bag to hold my socks. Then we bought our own home and even got married. Ya’ll I made it to adulthood (figuratively speaking)! But my socks remained in the duffle bag, on the floor, in the back of the closet. Until now…
All I asked for for my birthday this year was a large dresser with a minimum of 5 drawers. My small 4 drawer dresser suited my needs from age 14 through college and beyond, but it was time to expand my storage space–if anything to allow at least 1 dresser drawer to my sock collection and 1 more for my new husband (who was keeping his socks in a basket); it’s a vicious, seemingly contagious cycle I tell ya!
While making the transition I had my adult ah-ha moment. Sure, I still head to the corner of the closet for a pair of socks out of habit now, but being able to actually fetch a fresh pair of rolled up socks out of a drawer is quite the experience. It makes me feel like a fancy lady even if I’m fetching my rainbow colored toe socks that read “I’m a delicate fucking flower.”
So that my dear readers, is how I became an adult. I think my adolescent self would be proud that I held out to the ripe ‘ol age of 27. I had a pretty good run if I do say so myself. Now I must be off. I have to swallow some gum so I can eat cake for breakfast and then chug a soda all before my swim.
… Not really, but come to think of it, why are all the grown up rules for kids about restricting food? I think I’ve unearthed the ultimate conspiracy!