The faces of two females, one old and one young cheek to cheek

Becoming Grown Up

In response to the Daily Post writing prompt on March 6, 2013.

Prompt:  When was the first time you really felt like a grown up (if ever)?

Where do we draw the line between youth and grown-up?  For me, there have been several moments when I realized that I was getting older:  marriage, gray hair, the first college intern I worked with and discovered that I was old enough to be her father…the list goes on. But am I a grown-up?  I still feel an awful lot like a kid!

I think that my original understanding of what being grown-up means was flawed.  It implied a fixed period where I’d cross a line into a new reality, but nothing is that clean.  Our lives evolve based upon a series of activities.

As we grow, we learn several things from family, friends, and our cultural.  My childhood taught me that the grown-up always knows the answer, and that there is a right answer. I learned that the grown-ups get to make the rules, and that when they say something you listen and obey.  The grown-ups in my life portrayed a sense of knowledge and control, and so I had the idea that at some point life would make sense and I’d understand it.  I just needed to be patient, follow the rules, and it would all become clear.

Well, I’m guessing you know how things are turning out.  It’s rare that anyone knows the answer, and the idea of only one right answer is laughable.  I still don’t get to make the rules, and most of the time I need to do what I’m told. And that’s okay, because I now know that being grown-up really isn’t any different from being young.  There is only one difference: being a grown-up is realizing that no one gets it and that we’re all making it up as we live our lives. Some are just better actors than others.

I now have a different understanding of what it means to be a grown-up than I did when I was younger.  And, I don’t get it, and I am making it up as I live my life.  So by my current working definition, today is the day that I realized I’m a grown-up!

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