Wednesday, January 18, 2012

It's Slowly Sinking In: I'm an Adult

People make their kids call me Ms. Leah (or Mrs. Leah, but the Mrs. is so hard for kids to say, so I don't let them). Waiters and store clerks call me ma'am. I go grocery shopping for a household (a small one, but still a household). I'm married, for heavens sake.

And so it's finally starting to sink in for me. I'm an adult.

A lot of kids can't wait to grow up. A few kids never want to grow up. And a lot of adults refuse to grow up and live with their parents until they're 42, which is really lame. As a child, I was content to grow at a normal pace. I didn't want to hurry along my growing process. I mean, being an adult came with privileges, I knew, but it also had its downfalls: periods, boy troubles, bills. So I enjoyed my days and let each new milestone come as it would.

A lot of my friends want to go back to being children. I understand their thinking: our parents took care of us, we didn't have to worry about anything but the next episode of Boy Meets World, we could wear weird outfits and people blamed it on our silly youthful minds instead of judging us, we had no responsibilities, and a little freedom.

But I don't want to go back, because I think of all the times I was humiliated for not knowing something. I was small, and didn't stand up for myself. Sure I had no responsibility, but I also couldn't cross 5 Mile by myself.

As an adult, I can go where I like, do what I like, and I've learned to stand up for myself (if I have to). I know things: who makes a bad friend, who makes a good friend, what is a wise way to spend my time, what is a waste of time, when to stop, etc.

I can still watch Hannah Montana and listen to Justin Bieber if I want to. I can still run around in the woods and scrape my knees if I want to. I can still do arts and crafts, except now they look better and people might actually like getting them for gifts. I can still play computer games; I just have to use my time wisely.

But I can also get a job and earn money. I can also go to the school I choose and study what I choose. I can fail those classes if I choose, or I can work really hard and get a passing grade if I choose. I can marry and love Caleb, something I definitely couldn't do as a 12-year-old.

Do I have responsibilities? Yes, but they're not all that bad. And I still have the freedom to play, as long as I work, too.

I never wanted to rush being an adult, but I finally know that I am one, and I'm okay with that. I think I'll continue to take each day as it comes and not rush any new developments.

This is not at all what I intended to write about today. I thought I'd tell a story about a lady who has treated me like a 12-year-old since she first met me, when I was 12. Even when I was 20, and she made lunch for our college group, she said that she had peanut butter for me, since I was too picky of an eater to eat her chicken and potatoes (which, by the way, I ate with extra relish that day). But we finally, finally had an adult conversation this week. She treated me with respect, like I'm an equal.

And that's when I realized I'm an adult and then I went all metaphysical on you.

Love and Rainbows,
Leah Joy

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