As I write this, it’s the end of a day of work, and the second day in two months I’ve felt truly able to relax without the anxiety of something I “need” to work on (for financial gain, I mean). I worked today, I was offended today, and I calmed back down after light grocery shopping today. And as I stared at my reflection in the mirror as I brushed my teeth, I started to really see myself as an “adult” – a moniker I’ve gone over thirty years trying to avoid.
I still prefer the term “grown-up”, personally. Think about it like this: when you were a kid dreaming of the things you could do when you got older, did you ever think of doing what adults did, or what grown-ups do? The difference is, “adult” is a word steeped in repetition and responsibility, while the term “grown-up” is what people were… people who rode the big roller coasters, who traveled all over the world. The people who could do anything they wanted at any time. Ice cream and cookies for dinner! Go to the arcade at the mall and just play games the whole time! No kid wants to be an adult, they don’t want that hassle!
But as I looked at myself, identifying the small scars on my face, the day’s accumulated stubble, and even the beginnings of the wrinkles at the corners of my eyes (that I’ve earned by smiling a lot, by the way), I saw myself as the rest of the world sees me: a thirty-year-old man, the kind of face that blends into a crowd, that isn’t so good at one particular thing as to earn fame from it.
Having reached this point, I’d like to tell you what I’ve learned adulthood – grown-up-hood – actually is. No more misconceptions, I think I’ve learned what being “all grown up” actually is.