You guys, we are real adults.
Not sort of adults with semi-ish responsibility.
Because I remember those days.
I remember when I was 26 and felt like I had a world of responsibility…. as well as a world of freedom.
I’d read the newspapers leisurely in bed each weekend morning, drinking my hot cup of coffee (and not the microwave reheated three times hot-ish cup of coffee) and, if I wanted, would not leave the house — or get out of my pajamas — for the entire weekend.
I’d do happy hour with friends or my husband whenever. We played kickball after work, make impromptu plans, and not stress if our fridge was half empty.
I had maybe five bills while living large in our apartment.
I was lucky enough to have all my grandparents, my friends and I were all generally blessed with good health, and everyone thought I was 21 (wrinkles on my forehead?! As if).
We all just assumed that if and when we were ready to get pregnant, it would happen. And of course our babies would be healthy and “perfect,” whatever that meant.
Today, the innocence (and perhaps blissful ignorance) of my young self feels hard to imagine.
More and more, we are dealing with adult things. As we are getting older, so are those around us. Death is a stark reality. Some of us have experienced moms or dads who have passed away all too young, we are taking care of our parents or grandparents, and are dealing head-on with illnesses and diagnoses that sounded like something “older people” got.
We have each had friends who are ill — like with really scary cancer and auto-immune diseases — where they have needed you and their tribe in a powerful way to rally and support them. Or maybe it was you who needed your tribe, and the reality of those who have been there — and those who were not — is a lesson about friendship you never anticipated learning.
Your mind and perspective is changing right before your eyes.
You realize you don’t need a huge group of friends; you simply need your ride-or-die girls who you can can spill your honest guts to without judgement, who you actually call on the phone — not just text (because you know it’s a big deal these days when you move to the calling stage!) — and where you can have deep conversations.
You only want and deserve relationships that nourish your soul, and where you can do the same in return.
At the same time, age brings the blissful realization of what and who brings you joy. It’s with this that you have the power to let go of the rest. You do not need to do what others are doing. You can seek out what fulfills you.
You realize you must create the life you want because no one is going to hand it to you. You are the only one who can create it. You might fail, and that’s OK, because you know that means so much more than never trying.
You realize you are comfortable spending time with you. That your plans are not longer contingent on someone else’s availability or interest. That whether you want to see a movie, try a hip hop class, a painting workshop or grab sushi, you’re ready to go do it.
Adulting though also means you can easily push yourself so far down the priority list that you forget you’re even on it. For moms, it’s so easy to put everyone else first. The goal is to raise little ones into good, kind and compassionate humans. We also must remember our goal is not to do everything, but to teach them the tools to do it for themselves.
Real adulting is also realizing that saving money for retirement isn’t this abstract thing we kinda should do because of the decades-from-now future, but the reality that we don’t want to be working forever. That saving is more important that spending, and you really don’t neeeed that purse because a million and one reasons are more important. Or, you might actually have the money to get that purse, and you work too damn hard not to treat yourself. You get it girl!
Where did the time go that we went from this one girl to this adult woman?
We realize our bodies are changing faster than ever, and while there can be frustrations, in many ways our bodies today are a powerful sign of who we are becoming. We are focused on being strong, on inner peace, and in finding joy where we are today.
As adults, we know we still have a long way to go. We can embrace or change, but living in the middle is not worth the mental anguish.
In 10 years, we’ll likely have the same realizations about the woman we are in this moment. That’s how life works.
It’s a reminder that every day we have the power to create a life we can be proud of. It’s a reminder that when we look back we will realize that each day we took an honest leap (or even a baby step!) toward that woman we deserve presenting to the world… and most importantly, to ourselves.