“When are supposed to start feeling like grown-ups?”
That question was asked me by a high school friend about three years after we’d graduated. We were having lunch (at Friendly’s, ironically) and we were having the old clichéd “life after high school” conversations. My life at that time was characterized by a dwindling sense of direction, with my future as a high school band director seeming less and less “right” by the day.
That was about seven years ago. I’m now 28, and I actually do feel like an adult. You know, on better days. The friend with whom I had lunch now has a law degree. She’s also married and has a couple of kids. I suspect she feels like an adult most days.
Lately I’ve been having what one of my cousins calls “weird grown-up problems.” His example was running all over the city, trying to find someone to fill the propane tank for his grill. The other week I had to replace my social security card. It’s not a big deal. The Social Security Office worker aptly said that it was the “easiest thing you’ll ever do with the government.” But the whole thing left me with an odd feeling, for a reason that will become clear in a moment.
My life has followed what feels to me like an odd path, perhaps even by modern standards, and certainly by the standards of, say, my parents and grandparents. When I went to apply for my new card, I had to take my birth certificate. There’s a line for the ages of the parents when the child is born. My dad was 23 when I was born.
I can barely imagine having a kid, even now. Five years ago, I was basically a manchild. A big kid with a driver’s license and an associate’s degree. The funny thing is that if I’m being realistic, I have to accept that my dad probably felt the same way when I was born.
The biggest difference between my life now and my life when I graduated from college (the first time) is that now I definitely have some direction to my life. Maybe that’s what makes a person feel like an adult: direction.
Updating my LinkedIn, finding health insurance, budgeting, building a savings account, shopping for towels (of all things). Seriously, man. Weird grown-up problems.
In more career-specific news, I have gotten my first paid writing job! It’s very small, just a couple hours of writing website copy, but it’s something.