Sunday, 26 October 2014

Are You OFFICIALLY A Grown Up?

Growing up - no-one ever told me that growing up was mainly about taking on responsibility. Sure, I have learnt a few skills as I've gotten older that enable me to be a more competent and capable adult but I don't necessarily feel any more grown up. However, when I look at the invisible 'adult' check list that I am sure I was told about, I have ticked almost all of them so I can't deny it, I'm a grown up. The list included:

  • Get a job
  • Get a car
  • Go on holiday without my parents
  • Cook a dinner from scratch for someone
  • Fall in love
  • Get married
  • Get a house / flat
  • Get a dog
  • Have kids 

When I look at the life L&I lead, we seem to swing widely from youthful care-free kids to boring, responsible adults within hours. Our fridge will either resemble every kids' dream - chocolate, treats, cake, cheese, left over takeaway and plenty of Diet Coke- or a try-hard dieter's fridge with fruit, low fat yogurt, salad and nothing fun. Our fridge is great indicator of where we are on our weight management plans :)

Then there are our weekends. Take last weekend - I don't think we got dressed. We watched back to back movies including Disney, ordered takeaway, got up late, stayed up late and relaxed together without a care - it was perfect. If this was all we had to do to be a grown up then I'd happily be one. But then there are weekends when it is all about cleaning, bill paying, managing our time and our diaries to fit in seeing each other as well as friends. Those weekends are the times that I am not so keen on being a grown up, it's hard work and I'd rather someone else took care of it all!

I've had it easy though, I was given time, space and support to grow up at my own pace. I got a job as soon as I could at 16, moved out for the first time to go to Uni at 18, bought my first car at 20 and my first flat at 23 while living back at home. I took my time and my family supported that. However when you look at my lovely wife, she moved out at 18 and has never been back - not only did she move out, she moved COUNTRIES! While her family have always supported her and caught her when she faltered, growing up was much more a rush job for Laura. Maybe it's why it doesn't feel like there are 5 years between us.

We met when we were both in the same point in our lives but at two seemly very different ages. It seems so strange to think about what I was doing at the age Laura was when I first met her. At 19 I was still at Uni, it was all about going out and rushing to hand in Uni work, not about turning up at work at 9am and paying rent and bills, like Laura - that stuff seemed to happen haphazardly in my Uni house. But when we met we were both new to London, new to our job and finding ourselves and our feet in a chaotic, crazy city. It was both exciting and terrifying, exhilarating and exhausting. We were each others' support and best friend. We felt neither grown up nor carefree.

So when I saw a Metro article on the tube saying 'No kidding, adulthood begins at 24' it got me thinking about how life can turn out so differently based on a few decisions. Laura has always told me that in Idaho it's not uncommon to be married with a kid by the time you're 24 due to a high population of religious people and their 'get a ring by spring' mentality putting marriage high on the priority list. Here in London though, the thought of 'giving it all up' to move to the country and settling down is not something people are rushing to. In fact, most of my 30 year old friends are only now thinking of marriage, settling down etc - no-one owns a house, and the thought of living out of London is beyond comprehension.

Here is the Metro's official list that will help you to tell if you are a grown up (or not):

   It's like grown up bingo  - how many can you tick off?

1 comment:

  1. I have too many of these checked off... I think I need to go to the playground with my daughter and play on the swings... I don't want to grow up :)


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