I remember seeing a picture that said ‘it’s okay if we forget each other’s birthdays because we’re all adults’. Or something like that. I laughed and forwarded the picture to my friends, reminding them that that was far from the truth, and it would be rather unfortunate if they forgot my birthday.
It was my birthday some days ago and I was very grateful to be alive and surrounded by people who I cherished.
As a way of reflection, I listened to Gavin DeGraw’s “I Don’t Wanna Be” (what I call the song of my youth) and went through a journal from 4 years ago, smiling at some of the now seemingly ridiculous things I wrote.
I ran my hands over my copy of Daughters Who Walked This Path, remembering how warm and fuzzy I had felt the first time I read it. I read my first blog post, shaking my head as I read how I wrote about wanting to be a surgeon. What a young comedian.
I looked at some old pictures, remembering how what mattered most in those moments was if I would be allowed to sleep over at a friend’s or if my mom would get me that pair of jeans.
I got trapped in nostalgia, in the realization that I would never be as young as I was in those moments.
I also thought about how my responsibilities would only get more, how I would have to keep engaging in more adult-like behavior. To think that when I was younger the thought of being an adult had this heavenly appeal.
What did growing up mean to me as a child? It meant picking a career I would stick with for the rest of my life. It was driving my own car and buying as much food and books as I pleased. It was going to bed when I wanted to and waking up at a time I chose. It was life on my own terms.
Adulting has definitely not been what it appeared to be.
It is a constant struggle between “if it’s meant to be, it will be” and “if you want something, go get it.” It is writing boring 400-word application essays, asking you to describe intellectually a problem you’d like to solve.
It is being at school with a hundred things to do and all you want to do is go home. It is uncertainty and commitment and a whole lot of things I don’t like the sound of.
Nonetheless, I think there is much to be said for growing up, for it comes with a sense of coming into your own. I can feel myself growing into my skin and I love it.
It is discovering parts of myself I never knew existed.
It is learning what is not meant for me and loving the sound of my feet walking away from them. It is realizing that I cannot have it all figured out and that is okay.
It is knowing and embracing that warm and fuzzy feeling I get, when I finish a book.
It is realizing that I cannot Christian away my love for rap music and we will all have to adjust. It is knowing that I will never be a chocolate person, but ice cream will always make things better.
It is the assurance that of the people I love, some will leave, but some will choose to stay. It is no longer shying away from some feelings, but having conversations with my fears and doubts.
It is also getting to buy my own clothes, which will forever remain cool.
Cheers to many more years of that.