(In) Visible Memories

When I was little, I had chicken pox. And because I was little (and itchy), I scratched a tiny hole into the bridge between my eyes. From then on, I had a scar. When I was a bit older, I fell a bit and had a pretty nice look scuff on my knee. That left a faint, but present scar.

Then in high school I tried hurdles, got all caught up and fell. In that one act, I sprained an ankle, ripped open another knee and was substantially bleeding out of my elbow. Healed (but cankle-like), scar, scar.

The next year, I got an elbow to the face during a soccer game and needed stitches in my cheek. Facial scar.

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20 Times I Knew I Must be an Adult

Here's a non-exhaustive list of times the thought, "So this is adulthood," struck me pretty strong. Without further adieu, in no particular order:

  1. Scheduling my own doctor's appointment and having to fill out all that obnoxious paperwork.
  2. Going pants shopping and purchasing them from the women's section instead of the junior's section.
  3. Buying the women's jeans and being excited about how well they fit and how much coverage they provide.
  4. Wanting sneakers at Firefly, despite them not going with my outfit. However, I still packed like a kid and went with the cute shoes instead.
  5. Having people trust me enough to work from home.
  6. Dealing with the bullshit that is car trouble. Times three.
  7. Having to request time off to go home (well, now my parent's house I guess) and not just being assigned a time to leave (like college breaks).
  8. Needing to recruit a chaperone when I needed my wisdom teeth out, rather than just having my mom around for it.
  9. Giving a presentation about my job and being thought of as the "professional opinion." Then doing a good enough job to be asked to do it several times more.
  10. Handing out business cards.
  11. Being included on a recipe email chain, and actually having something of merit to provide.
  12. Taking over the title on my car AND paying my own insurance for it, which is also in my name.
  13. Going to my mailbox to receive nothing but bank statements and bills, rather than care packages and holiday themed cards.
  14. Laying in bed all night stressing about work.
  15. Laying in bed all night and not being able to whine to my mother about it.
  16. Things breaking around the house and not being able to just leave it for my dad to fix.
  17. Missing holidays, birthdays and other social outings because of work.
  18. Spending money on things freely and not feeling terribly ridden with guilt for spending my parent's money frivolously.
  19. Filling out my own taxes (albeit with a lot of help from my dad).
  20. Having to pack my own lunch everyday.

Were there any times that you were ever overwhelmed by feelings of adulthood? Leave 'em in the comments! :)

On Defining Adulthood

During the summer I saw an episode of Kelly and Michael that cited a study saying that 25 is the new 18. Naturally when I googled this to verify I got my facts right, an article with Hannah from Girls pops  up, as she is the prime example of the "struggle" to grow up these days, despite not being representative of any of my experiences growing up. Anyways, you probably don't need to read the article, as I just told you the thesis: that adulthood is now postponed until 25. Moving on, I didn't give much thought to this assertion until today, when I started to wonder exactly what constitutes adulthood. I pay rent on my own apartment, I have a full-time job (with bennies AND a retirement plan), and I have the responsibility of maintaining the life of two plants. More recently, I have signed up for my first credit card, and now my dad just sent me all sorts of paperwork so the car will be under my name. I'm feeling pretty "adult" these days.

On the flip side, my parents still pay for my cell phone bill, I still go to them for advice on every major decision, as well as every minor financial decision. I still call my mom when I'm sick, and I still don't have any idea what I'm going to do for tax season.

So am I an adult?

At what point can I say that I am "on my own?" Is it when I stop looking for advice on things? When every bill I owe is in my own name? The article I have previously referenced cites independence as the catalyst to growing up, but that's ambiguous to me.

I can't see myself ever being truly independent from my parents. They've been pretty helpful in the past. Ya know, like paying for college, raising me with a good set of morals, and bringing me all around the state of Connecticut to play some peewee sports. Just because I am living on my own and making my own money doesn't equate independence to me. I am always going to respect their opinion and value their input on my decisions. I am never going to feel totally independent from them.

So if independence isn't a clear indicator of adulthood, what is? I'd love to say it's when I start paying all my own bills, but it would be fiscally irresponsible of me to volunteer to move off the family cell phone plan when it's so cheap to stay with them! And for that, my parents would probably be proud, as I am making a smart decision to continue to mooch off of them indefinitely. Cheers to partial adulthood!