Remember when we were teenagers and our parents/caregivers would tell us “no”, and we would throw a fit or sneak off and do it anyways? Remember when we would get upset with our parents for not having the right food in the house? (wtf was wrong with us) Remember when we would go to sleep at 2am, just to wake up at 2pm? Remember when we wanted to be adults so that we could do whatever we wanted? Remember when our caregiver would get soooo mad for not taking the chicken out of the freezer in the morning? LOOLLLLL.
So…we began to grow up. Now what? I feel like the ages between 18-26ish are the most incredible growth periods. Just one year could change you tremendously whether it is your perspective on life, your goals, your spirituality, etc.
I believe there are stages to “growing up”. And these stages don’t include societal milestones like going to college or being a specific age. These are the stages of becoming an adult…in my opinion and based on my own experiences…..
Stage 1: Freedom & Excitement: We moved out of our caregivers house and felt free for the first time! We could do whatever we wanted, clean whenever/if we wanted, eat whatever we wanted. Be so excited to feel independent and have no one telling us what to do.
Stage 2: Um, Help?!: Okay, so we’re independent now, and totally lost. How often do I have to clean?? I had to once a week before but that was excessive. Two weeks later….OMG it’s so disgusting in here!! How do I grocery shop? What do I buy?? And we Google grocery store lists. Okay…we went adult grocery shopping and we bought chicken because that’s the adult thing to buy. How long do I cook the chicken? How long does it take to defrost. Omg. I miss family vacations. I can’t afford anything now!
Stage 3: Okay, I Don’t Know What I’m Doing: We have decided to suck up our pride, we need help. So we call home and our caregivers answer the phones because they knew this was coming. We start to ask, “How long do I cook chicken?”, “Do I need to wash chicken first?”, “What should I buy at the store?”, “What kind of milk did we drink at home?”, “Do I preheat the oven to 350? Or 400?” Ya know…the usual questions we have that we feel like we should already know the answers to.
Step 4: They Realize We Don’t Know What’s Going On Around Us: We start getting calls or texts reminding us of things (which I still to this day get and FULLY appreciate). “Don’t forget to change the clocks back/forward an hour today”, “There’s a cold front coming towards you”, “There’s a hurricane watch near you until tomorrow, go get some flashlights and waters”, “Don’t forget it’s your grandmother’s birthday”, “Take the lint out of the dryer”. “You need to watch the news”. Those texts at this point in our lives, are LIFESAVERS. I mean really…I still need them!
**side note for Step 4, my mom knew I never watched the news and found it boring so she told me about theSkimm (it’s free!). It’s an email that gets sent to you Monday through Friday around 5am CST. It’s a morning newsletter that has the day’s biggest stories. If you’re like me and hate watching the news, or just don’t have cable, I highly recommend downloading it! (no sponsorship for this, just love it). https://www.theskimm.com/
Step 5: We Somewhat Begin To Figure Things Out: Okay…so we kinda know how to grocery shop now, though it’s a work in progress. We learned how to make some meals. We save every grocery bag inside of another grocery bag. We read the news some morning. We even start checking the weather for the day!
Step 6: We Begin Half-Adulting: We read the news in the morning. We cook dinner a couple times a week. We clean kinda regularly, even though it’s still not as regularly as we should. We begin drinking coffee, even though it’s Starbucks and definitely something we shouldn’t be spending money on at this point in our life. We have a full-time job. We start going to the doctor like we should…yearly physical, yearly pap for women, dentist every 6 months, etc. (assuming we have some type of insurance, since ain’t nobody can afford it otherwise).
*HUGE STEP HERE*
Step 7: The Awakening: Okay…we made it. We are still learning, and will be learning for quite some time, but we made it here. We start waking up at 7am to get ready for the day even if we don’t have to leave the house until 8:30am. We start reading the news each morning (theSkimm in my case, still hate watching the news). We start going to be around 11pm because we want to get our 8 hours of sleep. On the weekends, we go grocery shopping and buy actual groceries (chicken, ground beef, bread, eggs, onions, parsley, bell peppers, rice, cream of mushroom/chicken soup, cheese…all of the main ingredients you can make different kinds of meals with). We begin to clean each weekend. We begin to do laundry each weekend, and actually fold it when the dryer goes off and it’s still warm. We buy a coffee maker, coffee, filters, and creamer because we realize how much money we save when we aren’t going to Starbucks. I don’t know about anyone else, but I even started to get excited about cutting out freakin’ CVS couples from that mile long receipt!
So…we did it. We made it to being a partial adult. But at the same time, we still look for an adult-ier adult when we need help. We still rely on Google to answer a lot of questions we have. We still need help from time to time. But one thing that will never change….we will still call our family whenever we need, and not out of embarrassment anymore.
We begin to call family regularly just to say hello. We miss just spending time with them. We think back to when we were a child or teenager, wishing we were adults because we honestly thought it was just being able to do whatever we want. We think back to all of the silly mistakes we made that now seem so dumb. We think back to all of the things our caregivers told us and how they were right 97% of the time.
We see the world differently. We start to appreciate the small things. And we understand that we never, ever stop growing.
That we don’t always know everything or know how to fully adult, but that’s okay! Because we are able to look back and see how far we have come and be proud of ourselves.