And suddenly you’re a “grown-up”

It’s a scorching summer day. I’m running around the back yard, slinging mud and grass into a Frisbee disc, trying to find someone who will eat my “pie,” snickering because I’m convinced I can make someone believe that I really baked this! I’m hosting kart-wheel contests through the sprinklers and handstand contests in the crowded neighborhood pool. I’m cooling off while munching on popcorn at the Rugrats in Paris premier. I’m forcing my dog through an obstacle course I made in the backyard because she will be one of those dogs on Animal Planet. I’m nagging my parents because, “I’m boorrreeeddd.”

It’s a scorching summer day. We just moved about two miles away from our childhood home. Moving is exciting and weird. After all, any kind of change is weird to and unwelcome by this girl. But I get to redo my room and I finally have my own bathroom, so maybe it’s not that bad. I’m also preparing to go to high school, dancing all the time and scared to death of this new transition. This is a lot of change to happen all at once, you know.

It’s a scorching summer day. I spend it in the cool air conditioning working retail at Old Navy and the Funky Monkey. I spend my evenings with my close knit group of friends. Typically hanging in parking lots and awkwardly talking about our daunting next steps and how we will definitely stay friends forever. I’ve been accepted to the University of North Texas. This is a huge change. I’m moving 29.5 miles from home! I know it’s not far, but it’s 29.5 miles farther than I used to live from home. And I have a roommate that’s trying to match bedspreads with me. I’m kicking and screaming because how could I ever… Live in a dorm?! With a roommate?!

It’s a scorching summer day. I’ve just returned from a study abroad trip to Hong Kong and China. My eyes have just been opened up to a whole new world of opportunities, foods and ideas.
I’ve just returned from Spain. I’ve fallen in love with the Madrid and eagerly reviewing my calendar for the next span of time I could spend there. I’m still working retail and developing fine friendships while doing so. I’ve changed my major four times and still don’t know if I’ve found a fit. Also, remember that dorm I was kicking and screaming about three years ago? Yeah, I’m still living in it. And I’m having the time of my life.

It’s a scorching summer day. I’ve just moved 29.5 miles away from C313 on the third floor of Maple Hall–my home of the last four years, where I grew tremendously and developed this life and routine that I cannot imagine no longer conducting. Believe it or not, this was worse than moving out of my childhood home. Something similar to the last episode of Friends, if you will.

I’ve graduated college though! That’s pretty exciting, but somewhat overshadowed by the fear and pressure of big decisions and next-step plans. We host a graduation party and I’m reminded of the love that surrounds me and I am instantly filled with gratitude because you know what? I’ve had a really great life and sometimes you just need parties and alcohol to remind you of that.

I’ve just returned from a graduation trip to Malaysia and Singapore. I’m still feeling grateful, but here come the talks about student loans… (seriously, I’m being charged $2.80 a day on interest?!) insurance… credit cards… benefits… payments… Oh, and I’m dating this boy that I quite like. But what if our plans don’t align? But what if they do? All of these things I don’t feel ready to talk about, and nor do I want to, because A. they never taught me these things in college and B. wasn’t I just watching Rugrats in Paris? I swear I just saw my ticket stub somewhere around here…

But suddenly I’m a “grown-up.”

I’m thrown into this terrifying, new world feeling completely unprepared and I’m scared to death and my head is spinning all the time trying to understand my purpose, trying to understand what I’m presently doing. Talk about changes. I don’t know what I want to do with my life. Like, literally do not even have the slightest clue. What if I never know? But it’s like you graduate, and everyone just expects you to know. You start working at jobs that want to keep you “forever.” And forever is a strong word to use on a girl who doesn’t know what she wants her forever to be. You start to wonder what you value the most… relationships? careers? adventures? You sort of start to view time and opportunities and decisions differently. It’s definitely a new season and a tough one to figure out.

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