I wonder if I’ll one day reach an age when I no longer have “oh my gosh, I’m an adult” moments. I’ll be 34 on Saturday. As I type it, it feels mature. But I still have sharp flashes of that feeling from time to time, like I can’t believe I’ve gotten here by myself, without being instructed by an actual grown-up.
Checking into a hotel alone.
Writing notes to my daughter’s teacher.
Speaking at a conference.
Repairing something with tools.
The list used to be longer, though.
When I went out to dinner with friends instead of eating at home with my parents.
When I cooked dinner at home – my own home – instead of going out with friends.
Ordering a drink in a restaurant.
Ordering it neat.
Staying up late – really, really late.
Waking up early, without a headache.
When I did my own laundry.
When I did someone else’s laundry.
Pruning the tall hedges in front of my house.
Paying someone else to prune the tall hedges.
The first time I drove across a state line.
The first time I flew across the country.
I was relieved to turn 30 because I thought people would stop making comments about my age. Thirty would feel more sophisticated, a more appropriate age to be a mother and a boss – both of which I’d been for a few years. I realized later – as I’m sure everyone in such a position does – that these folks had either similar personal timelines or a regret that they didn’t.
Add this to the list –
I felt like a grownup the first time I said, with my own regrets: “I did everything too soon.”
And I felt like a grownup when I later thought, “No. No, I didn’t.”