Adulthood – When did I sign up for this?

Remember those times when grocery shopping was a game you played, and checking out was the most fun part? The groceries go down the conveyor belt, each item goes across the scanner and then gets bagged. Your sister makes up a number and you hand over a piece of plastic and wha la! all these groceries are yours! We played this at the children’s science museum. It was awesome. Then there’s the drive thru windows where we got to just tell mom what we wanted to eat and we got it. I got shoes, toys, roller blades, gym memberships, enrollment onto sports teams and birthday parties without even the thought of money. As much as I might have complained as a child that I didn’t have enough, I was totally blessed.

Now fast forward 15 years or so, and there I was, last night sitting on my bed with my laptop (that Dad bought me when I started college) looking (well, more like staring in disbelief) at my student loan bills and then grudgingly submitting my payments. There I was, in this house I pay rent for, using the internet I pay for getting ready to have people over for dinner and a movie (and trust me, pizza and a movies don’t  just appear in the house like they did when I was a kid). I have this whole life in a town foreign to me as of 3 years ago. It’s amazing how things have changed so drastically in such a relatively short period of time. It’s these small decisions you make daily that lead to a gradual change that you might not even recognize until years later. Who would have thought that I would be living outside my parents house? Obviously people grow up and become independent, and I always have wanted to be my own person, but this, this is more than I ever imagined for myself.

It’s strange building a life for yourself. Growing up, your parents do all that for you. They decide how you will be educated, where you will live,what you will eat and even who your friends will be. Now, I have to take what they taught me along with the leading of the Holy Spirit, and continue building this life. I like to think that it’s really just a continuation of where I have been. Different characters, but same truths and foundation. It’s strange having to find other people to solve problems with my computer, or around the house when Dad’s not around. Or getting dressed without my sisters telling me what goes together and what doesn’t. And of course, not having mom to talk to at any given time is a hard adjustment. Friends don’t just come over on play dates, you have to really put yourself out there and work on friendships, developing and maintaining them. It’s amazing how dificult this really is!

Even with all these changes, the good and the tough, it really is a blast becoming your own person, making your own decisions (even when they are not the best thought through) and doing your own thing. A lot of religions traditionally have rituals for ‘making’ a kid into an adult. Circumcision is a huge one, but so is burning a boy’s hand (if he doesn’t cry, he’s a man). For girls its marriage or other physical trials. I think for me, this transition into having to pay the bills, go into work daily and organize my life has really made me feel like I’ve become a woman. I’m not a kid anymore who pretends to have bills and pay for groceries, these are all now realities.

Lastly, I think the most important lesson I have learned over the last few years, is that I need people. As much as I love doing my own thing and being on my own, I know that I can’t do it alone. I must have people guiding me and helping me along the way. Being open to the Lord and His spirit to lead me in the right direction and listening to the guidance He has placed in my life is critical. I might not have signed up for all adulthood has to offer, but I’m glad I’m here, learning.

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