As I am writing this it is 8:30 pm and the sun is just now setting, casting the empty white walls of my apartment under the spell of an orange and pink sky. I am thinking about the color palette of a coral bedroom with gold accents, the idea of an ocean-themed bathroom and a farm-themed kitchen space, matching furniture and plate sets, and the idea that one day I will be grown.
In this moment I can hear the bustle of a fan on the floor beneath me because my washing machine went out two days ago and saturated the hallway carpet and linoleum floor with lukewarm water that has tainted the entire apartment with the stench of stale water. This recent washer debacle coupled with my recent two week “tour” of the Northwest, has led to a series of conclusions.
When my washing-machine started spitting its contents onto my recently cleaned floor, I made a startling observation – I called the rental agency via a series of alternate phone numbers and after receiving no reception, I dialed my Mom.
The conversation went something like this –
“Mom, help! My washing-machine is exploding and there’s water everywhere, I called everyone at the rental agency and no one is picking up the phone and all of the water is getting everywhere. I don’t have enough towels in the whole house to dry it all up. What do I do?!” … *trails off into unintelligible anxious gibberish*
She barely got a word in edge-wise before my overblown panic calmed enough to hear her. (Bless my mother’s heart.) She walked me through a few different steps – turn the water off, grab your extra sheets, use a bucket to get the water out – before reassuring me that it really was (contrary to my panic) going to be okay.
And then it washed over me like the waters spewing out of my washing-machine… this adult thing never ends and its really, really hard.
Now, as a nineteen year old, claims of adulthood may seem a bit premature, but as a nineteen year old with living expenses, multiple jobs, and a college education that feels like a full-time job x10 it seems right to claim adulthood, as that is what the world expects of me; even if we now live in an era of thirty-year-olds still living in the parents’ basement. (but the economy, yada yada yada…)
So, allow me to share with you some things, in no particular order, that I’ve recognized a bit of weakness in as I claw my way into adulthood.
- Eating Meals comprised of more than ice cream or french fries; because, honestly, why choose a salad or a well-composed meal when you could just as easily pick the dollar-scoop?
- Paying bills – not because I forget to pay them, but because I can’t seem to get over the fact that every month, for the rest of my life, they will continue to accumulate and I will be expected to cough up money for the rest of my life, despite my bank account’s status and my impending status as a starving artist.
- Containing my childish excitement. This, I have learned, is probably never going to go away whether I am nineteen or ninety-nine.
- Taming my tongue. Yeah, sarcasm, that’s a problem.
- Buying things for my car without cringing. I bought two new sets of tires this year and I am still pulling grey hairs.
- Saying no to trips and adventures. The invitation to adventure is too great for me to say no, despite the desperate pleas of my bank account or the productive hours in my day, but hey, I’m investing in the experience.
- Budgeting my coffee money. I’ve actually gotten better at this one recently, as I have switched from my precious triple shot caramel-coconut-infused 2% milk lattes over to Americanos; if you are a connoisseur (side note, definitely had to look up the spelling of that word) of all things coffee like I am I highly suggest this route – your wallet will thank you.
- Baking, maybe its the fact that my mother is a baker extraordinaire or maybe its simply the fact that I enjoy non-charred cookies, but I always imagined that I would be able to bake as I got older, imagine the surprise of my seven year old self if she saw me now – cookies burnt by the batch and undercooked cakes in tow.
- Actually taking the time to pause. Enough said.
- Going to the Doctor on a regulated schedule. Because making monthly appointments isn’t yet at the forefront of my mind, regardless of my plethora of allergic reactions to air.
- Cleaning the bathroom more than once a month. This is a problem, especially when you have roommates. Between classes and life I forget but if I have to shower with already dried hair stuck to the side of the shower-wall one more time, I might lose my french-fry and ice cream lunch.
- Cleaning my room more than once a semester. I don’t forget this one, I just neglect it, because, hey, I have a system – even if it looks like Dorothy’s homelessness-inducing tornado ripped through the confines of my small space.
- NOT eating things that are too old to be consumed. Recently I met my demise at the hands of two day old lukewarm Chipotle – to my nineteen-year-old mind, it seemed perfectly reasonable to consume the food I had bought with my hard-earned money, because I’m too poor to buy another Chipotle bowl (that’s expensive crap), needless to say I suffered a bought of clammy food-poisoning shortly following my poorly thought out decision.
- Not getting girlishly excited about Disney princesses and glitter. This one speaks for itself.
- Not quoting movies in daily life, because “don’t you ever tell me how to live my life again.”
- Buying toilet paper because that’s the job of adults… oh wait.
- Watching educational documentaries instead of Hot-Rod every week.
- Not loving Justin Bieber, because I’ve been in love with him since the age of 12 and I don’t foresee that ending anytime soon.
- Looking at established adults and not feeling like uncultured swine; not quite sure this will ever really die, to be honest.
- Not crying at the idea of the future – because college is great, but its a big world out there.
All of this said and done youth is a gift, and I am grateful that adulthood, even though it smashes your face in all at once, is also courteous enough to embrace my quirks for the time being.
In the style of Peter Pan, I hope there really is a piece of me that stays young forever, because heaven forbid I ever lose my wonder.
Until next time, wonder on.