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I’m Not a Grown-Up Yet

When my mom was my age, she and my dad were already engaged. They’d been dating for several years. They knew they wanted to spend the rest of their lives together. So they got married young. And it all worked out—they’re still happy as can be all these years later.

It’s a cute story, I know. Mom was in high school, went with her sister and a friend to see their dates, and ended up meeting Dad. True love. Happily ever after.

But, sometimes, that cute story terrifies me. It makes me feel like I should already be at that point in my life—serious relationships, diamond rings, white dresses that my kids will inevitably mock in 20 years (sorry Mom, but the 80’s poofy sleeves didn’t age well). And seeing so many girls from my high school doing just that—falling in love, getting married, having kids—well, that doesn’t exactly help either.

The thing is, though, I’m nowhere near that place in my life. A wedding and kids, that means you’re really a grown-up now. I’m not a grown-up! All I’ve eaten so far today is Froot Loops, M&Ms, and Domino’s cheesy breadsticks. Does that sound like the diet of an adult? Of someone responsible enough to care for a baby? No. I sound like a college student who is running around like a chicken with its head cut off. It also sounds like someone who occasionally forgets that vegetables are a thing that exists in the world (once again, sorry Mom).

I may be 19. I may say, “I’m not a child!” whenever my parents remind me to do whatever the heck I don’t want to be reminded to do. I may be making important decisions that will guide my future career and change the rest of my life. But that sure as hell doesn’t mean that I’m a “grown-up.”

And I’m okay with that. Because being a real grown-up sounds really difficult and scary.

I guess what I’m trying to say is props to you if you feel like you’re in that place, if you already have a career or husband or a kid. Because I couldn’t do what you’re doing right now. I’m not ready, strong, or mature enough to face the real world myself, let alone support a family as well. And I find it absolutely incredible and impressive that you already are.

(Also, all the wedding and baby pictures on social media are adorable, so there’s that too.)

Of course, I have those moments where I fear I may never meet a great guy, get married, have kids. How could I not, given how far behind I am on that front—compared to my mom, compared to all those young women back home.

But I just have to trust that it’ll happen sooner or later. That’s all I can do. And in the meantime, I’m going to go eat that cookie dough that I bought with the sole intention of eating it raw. And I’m not going to have to share it with a greedy kid. Because in more ways than not, I still am that greedy kid. And that’s okay too.

I’ll grow up eventually. Just not quite yet.

Image Credit: Elizabeth Anne Designs, Amy Shirer, Genius, Christina Ballard

Paige is a senior psychology major at Kenyon College. Next year, she plans on attending graduate school to receive a Master's of Library Science. She just bought a plant for her dorm room and named him Alfred. 
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