I’ve been living in this big wonderful city for almost one calendar year. I have one year’s worth of Chicago things under my belt. I’m excited about all of those things, but recently I couldn’t figure out what wasn’t fitting. I adore my job, I adore my friends here, I adore my small apartment, nothing was glaringly annoying.
Until I realized there wasn’t a break in my year. There wasn’t a Christmas break or a spring break or a summer vacation to mark the turnover of a new year. That’s not to say I didn’t go on vacation this summer or last Christmas, I did. But there wasn’t something that was built into my year by another institution. Upon this realization, I had this conversation with Chelsie:
Me: “I realized that up until this point in my life, there has always been some built in reevaluation of my status, whether that was a move or a semester ending. And now any change that I want to make or any self-evaluation has to come completely from within. And I think that sort of scares me.”
CB: “Yes!! I think that’s why I got so excited about this conference. I thought about that they other day when I was wondering why I felt so dissatisfied with my job, because there’s NO NEXT STEP UNLESS I MAKE IT. That is frightening.”
Me: “I’m so glad you understand this. I think this is what it means to be a grown up. I think this was our first step in understanding that at 23 years old we have to be semi-adults…”
CB: “That and bills. Bills, bills, bills.”
And while bills are the true mark of growing up, realizing that you have to self-govern from here on out is slightly intimidating. It’s not by any means a bad thing, but it’s not exactly something I’ve had to do before. I’m not entirely sure what it entails. Do I need to start reading the Times? Do I need to get a tailor? What are the things I must do now? Get my eyes checked more frequently? I’ve been rocking 20/20 vision forever so I don’t know the new rules.
I’m pretty sure I don’t have to do any of those things. I think I just have to be more aware of what the next year holds and actually make a list of life improvement things to do and stick to it. Cleaning out my closets and taking vitamins more regularly seems like a good place to start. Doing my dishes consistently and not waiting till every pair of underwear I own is in the dirty clothes to do laundry seems like the way to move in the right direction.
But if anyone knows how I can sign up for a free personal assistant that will regulate my life, feed me vitamins and tell me when to do my laundry, please let me know.
Inventing semesters for grown ups.
PS: I say grown ups very, very loosely.
5 responses to “Notes on Adulthood”
I found a tailor today! Thanks for sewing my alterations, Margo W of Margo’s Bridal Alterations.
Thanks for the cameo today. Good post
I need to come and stay!! I don’t behave like an adult so it should be interesting.
Take it from an old fart (only old farts use the term “old fart’), adulthood is highly overrated. So what if you run out of underwear or let all your dishes get dirty? Here’s a secret: I did way tooooo much laundry and dishes in my 20s. (That’s what your 30s are for!) I have a sense you are using your young adulthood to better effect, so keep it up.
And here’s the truth: your mother (any mother) will be more than happy to tell you the important stuff you might forget. Just ask her. I am praying my Kate might think I have decent advice to offer when she’s your age.
Finally, “life improvement” comes naturally to smart girls like you. I see no evidence you need to contemplate it more. It’s the girls for whom the phrase “life improvement” would never enter their minds that ought to worry but, sadly, never will.
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I remember reaching a similar point in my life the first year out of college. Instead of being taught I was the teacher. I didn’t get a grade on how I had done and it was very disconcerting.